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established 1901 

^e/awa/^ ^)4iilea K^ollme 


Marlena Balliett 
Andrea Velas 

Publication Advisor 

Dr. Karen Schramm 


^\JA r 






2002-2003 r§leemet^ 

Karen Ritter 

Jessica Randell 

Becki Rubin 

Front Cover: Dr. Karen Schramm 

Inside Front Cover: Sara Helm 

Inside Back Cover: Dr. Karen Schramm 

Back Cover: Allison Fissel 



re/a/ t/unf/,'o to //(r/o//owina: 

Dr. Linda Maisel for coordinating the 
Gleaner High School Writing Competition 

Mrs. Sue Haldeman for her technical assistance 

Mr. Barry Denlinger and Tiger Printing Group, 

For their time and generosity 


A cLocte. stoiA^ds aLoiA^e Lia, the in^tiA^d. 

For fl v\A.Dvv^tvJt, the secoi/td ^la^^d goes bacfe. 

(t starts forward agnliA.. 

A^^^d everw oiA.ce Lia, a w/Wilt the secoiA,d haiA.d lAAoves backward. 

Is this a glitch liA. the clocfe or the wlv^dl 

SbtddeiA^lw the clock explodes. Its pieces shatterliA-g to the fioor. 

The shards m-ove sLowLw liA^the air, shlm^kKerliA^g aiA.d shliA.liA.g. 

WheiA. the clocfe tries to rebuild Itself, som.ethliA.g's ^^ever c[ulte right. 

It staiA^ds aloiA^e oia. the wall, de-forfAAtd. 

The light bou.iA.ces fro^vi sharp, plercliA-g edges. 

To the oiA,ce recog^^lzable,bers oia, the face. 

ElegaiA,t colors of blue aiA,d red aiA,d wellovv aiA,d gree^^ 

Are created by the light refracted Iia, the prlsm,s. 

The prlsm.s, Iia, turiA-, were forvi/ied bw the shards of the shattered aiA,d brofeei/t clocfe. 

t+eartless aiA,d hollow, the disfigured eiA,tltM caiA, ia,o loiA,ger perceive or hold tln^e. 

The balaiA-ce Is toriA, awaw from. Its face, ia,o LoiA,ger whole aiA,d coiA,fldeiA-t. 

The shards fall liA,to obllvloiA,. 

Tli^e Is all but lost. 

shattered aiA,d hollow, ( staiA,d aloiA,e. 

Iia, aiA, eiA^ptij world that Is iaa,m m.adiA,ess. 

TliAAe iA,o loiA,ger exists, except Iia. the past. 

feel iA.othliA,g, wish iA,othliA,g, thliA^fe iA,othliA,g. 

This Is ^KLj m.adiA,ess. 

■hAlch&llt Neum.aiA,iA, 

-f^enee McManus 

j assing (^jenerations 

f rom each generation to the next 

Our lives are dirrerentlu sketched. 

We each have our own cues and color of hair, 

/\nd the color of our skin mau be dark or fair. 

^ome of our talents might be the same, 

/\na maube we will have fortune and fame. 

O" ^^^ other hand, we might just blend in with all the others, 

/\r\a live in a house full of many sisters and brothers. 

VVe also might have a tintj house pet. 

Who, when he dies, we will never forget. 

l_ook how our families could be, 

/\nd in the end are uou and me. 

Look to the j uture 

~|~he past is gone and the future now upon us. 

L.mbrace it with open arms 

/\nd all of uour hopes and desires will be laid out before you. 

^nter the highway of another twilight zone. 

fartu into the night. 

j_ook at the stars and make a wish. 

W^ien Ljou hear the wind whisper 

]3)on't be frightened. 

Just fade awau. 

faecal! and reflect on memories of ijesterdaL). 

|_ead yourself into a new year 

/\nd create memories that will last a lifetime. 


^ ^ 

s4tof2^ tAosy moMnMifv, cwh/ and/ aJ/uj/, 

sAnA/ cuffzlnf' hands' to.' &c<xof.' Mp wxden/, 
9 tkoiu^' ?)'(l keaid tko' anfels/ siitf'. 

''YloiAinf umi&tuil caidd 9 di&cewi/, 

' '^it 9 aazed uf<Mv tAe/ azwie/ neaAtens' 

ind sfied/ Mue^-ei^^ anfels^ pia-fonf^ ku'VpsicnoAds/. 

^leeMno/ me/ witk/ iamAent/ smiles', 

'^kejj/ came/ to/ test cm/ sfAlvu^ ^Aas& 

'~Unon/ vuAlciv tkdf suMpAj/ sjz'vead w clouAiel 

s4s/ UanAei/ ^o^ 04aa/ ^inc/ lejiasi'. 

''Wklle/ Lue/ dined on- sutcel ainwvosia/, 

'^e/ sMoAe/ of all tAln^ (^XMxd and udse/, 

'%ken/ tkcAj/ dejia/iied-iAeA^ simphj/ aani&ned- 

s4nd uiAe^vC' tkcij/d' stoad ^acw/ odeZuiel&s/. 

— ^t/. '^aicn- Sclviammr-^ 

The Wonders of Water 

Foothills blanketed by brushwood emerge beyond the moist misty medium. 

The low mumble of the motor trembles beneath me as we speed over black carih: 

The high hills gradually transfer into magnificent mountainous peaks. 

My delicate ears sense as if the weight of the universe lies upon ihcni. 

A fork in the road forces us to choose between the life we know of and this outside world, 

A dirt path lies ahead - we proceed, screaming pebbles are pulverized 

We turn on to unknown territory, the wheels that brought us so far begin to slowly slide 

Down an immense incline - exposed to us is a heartwood house, 

A place that we pay a visit to annually, knowing that it will still be there to receive us warmly. 

The ground becomes still yet my legs are vibrating 

I slowly inch the door open and place a portion of my body on firm land 

This sector is so silent that you can hear the wild water rushing down the mountainside - 

Sounding so close that I am curious - I feel as if I am being drawn to it. 


I pursue the sound of thrashing water - I approach a bridge and look beyond, 

I see tons of tremendous trees and a wiry grim passage - 

Traveled by others that felt a desire to enter these wondrous woods as I do; 

Slowly I step into a world unexplored by many. 

I approach a bluff, but determined to see nature's wonder I push forth, 

I walk alongside it until I come upon a footpath. 

As I make my way down the decline, 1 feel my feet slip - quickly I regain balance 

I'm urged on as the sound becomes louder - I know I will come upon the source shortly. 

The sunshine peeks through the trees - not far ahead I see a clearing. 

Impatiently I race ahead - at the path's end is a furious flow of spring water. 

This water jumps into the air leaping over rocks, branches, and tree trunks 

Standing at the edge, I yearn to travel downstream. 

I weave under, over, left and right around many obstacles that are presented. 

Racing the river - I stop to see a remarkable figure 

Two tree trunks are crossed over the treacherous rapids, forming an X- 

I stand looking up at the sky in wonder. 

A breeze of cool wind blows through my thin hair - a chill runs down my spine 

The skin of my body is damp from the wispy moisture thrown into the dense air 

Looking back to where I came from, turned and began to walk home - 

Knowing the wonders of this water would never be forgotten. 


Larry Stelmach 

A Question of Balance 

We held a bachelor party for him the night before the first marriage. He went out for pizza the night 
before he got married for the second time. I don't know what he did before the third try. I blame 
myself for the first bachelor party. I should never have let a mutual friend of ours handle the details. 

Tom Roberts was the perpetual groom. Tom always had an easygoing manner and most people 
found him to be instantly likeable. It is a trait you find in many top sales people (unless they are in the 
automobile or door-to-door vacuum cleaner businesses). Tom was six foot tall and fairly good looking, 
with his only real physical flaw being a nose a bit too large for his long and thin face. Tom was a co- 
worker of mine at a company called Air Products. 

Air Products is located in Allentown, PA. The Allentown that Billy Joel sang about. It is a great place 
to bring up a family. Its nightlife revolves around how long the Wendy's is staying open on any partic- 
ular night. Glen was the mutual friend who volunteered to handle the details of the bachelor party. In 
the group of Tom's friends from work who said they would attend, he was the only married man. Glen 
really seemed to get into the idea of a party and generated an enthusiasm for the project as if he were 
desperate to revisit his bachelor days. He had one idea after another, finally settling on a club located 
in that den of iniquity known as Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The affair was to start with a nice dinner 
and then the club, which included exotic dancing and something mysterious called "special treatment." 
With that description alone, seventeen guys from Air Products said they were going to attend the 
party It was ail going to happen the week before the wedding. 

We hit a few snags. Tom insisted that his two brothers had to attend the bachelor party, but they were 
not going to arrive from Virginia until the Thursday before the wedding. We considered two separate 
parties. Then the club Glen had picked out for the party burned down. The origins of the fire were 
suspicious and so were Glen's revised plans. Something about renting a boat and going down the 
Lehigh River with some of the newly unemployed dancers from the club. Unfortunately, there was a 
series of problems at work and a lack of water on the Lehigh River; suddenly the first party was off 
and so was planned attendance. Then one of Tom's brothers was delayed in arriving in Allentown 
until Friday morning. It's a long and winding story, but we ended up with a bachelor party in Glen's 
basement, right after the rehearsal dinner, the night before the wedding. 

Glen was a reluctant host, but there was just no other place to go on short notice. As the only married 
man in the now small group of partygoers, he had the only house with space enough for the party. 
Glen and his wife, Joan, had one idiosyncrasy that had a big impact on how the night was arranged. 
They liked their house "just so." Glen and Joan didn't have any children and they didn't have pets. 
When they went out and purchased something it was usually the best and therefore, very expensive. 
They were absolutely paranoid about their possessions getting damaged. Glen even kept pieces of 
cardboard in the garage under their BMWs to make sure not a spot of car fluid would mar the epoxy 
painted floors. So in the interests of protecting their valuable acquisitions from the raucous bachelor 
party. Glen decided to hold the party in the unfinished basement. 

We arrived at Glen's house at about 9:30 that evening after the rehearsal dinner. The final guest list 
was made up of Tom, Glen, Tom's two brothers, three optimists from work, and me. The basement 
was all decked out with card tables, folding chairs, a tape player, some potato chips, and a few black 
streamers. The place has the feel of an 8th grade graduation party. Glen's wife was upstairs-it never 
occurred to him to send her some place for the night. When the boat idea fell through, there didn't 
seem to be any point. 
Throughout the night, we tried to get a rise out of Tom. Most of the members of the party were at 

least a little jealous; Diane was a really beautiful girl. We proposed toasts to the end of his freedom. 
We made ball-and-chain references and told him that marriage was the end of his golfing career. 
Tom, however, smiled through all this. The smile of someone who knows something you do not. The 
self-satisfied smirk you see on the faces of many of the wealthy. 

That made sense though, because Tom was wealthy. Well, his family had a lot of money. Some of it 
had rubbed off on Tom. He had a new car and a new house. Growing up, he never had to work dur- 
ing the school term or over the summers. His parents felt that he should enjoy himself when he was 
young and so he and his brothers played sports. They were all scratch golfers. Tom had won three 
or four amateur tournaments before he was twenty-one. He played five times a week. 

Tom stopped smiling long enough to rebut our weak jabs. "It's all a question of balance." he said. "I 
know how I am going to manage my life. Work is important to me. Golf is important to me. My family 
will be important to me. When you have three key interests, you have stability. Like a stool with three 

Someone made a crude reference about Tom having three legs, but Tom kept going. "When some- 
thing goes wrong for a while in one area of your life, you have the stability of the other two areas. If I 
start to play badly, there is always work and Diane. If I have a setback at work, I've got golf and 
Diane." He paused to finish his sixth beer. "It's all about balance," he repeated with a little more 
emphasis. Then a real know-it-all smile. 

I had seen a smile like it once before on the face of my cousin Frank. It was in church when we were 
both about eleven. Frankie was so inspired by the sermon and the grace he felt, that he said he was 
going to live the perfect life and go straight to heaven when he died. He was going to live the life his 
parents wanted him to live; he would become a priest. My Aunt Fran beamed her approval. To have 
a priest in the family was something she had always dreamed of. Over the next few years, she spoke 
of her son as is he were already a priest. Some in the family referred to him, behind Aunt Fran's 
back, as Father Frank. 

The bloom came off the rose when Frankie was seventeen. Aunt Fran came home early from work 
and found Frank wearing his sister's clothes. Frankie ended up moving away to New York when he 
was nineteen, so that he could engage in his predilection for cross-dressing away from the family's 
reproaches. Here is the thing: Frankie is about the nicest person in the family as far as caring about 
other people is concerned. He is a social worker in New York City and does volunteer work for all 
sorts of causes. If anyone is going straight to heaven in our family it is Frankie, no matter how he is 
attired when he arrives at the gates. 

The conversations at the party got gradually louder over the next few hours. The partygoers got into 
the heavy drinking. All except me. I don't drink, which can be a major handicap at an event like this 
because I never seem to be having as much fun as everyone else is. 

About midnight, Glen was looking for a reason to get us out of the house. Everyone was intoxicated 
(or very close to it) except for Glen and me. Tom and his younger brothers were definitely in the worst 
shape of the group. One of Tom's brothers had been doing "Mr. Ed" imitations (from the old TV show 
about the talking horse). His routine consisted of one line: "Ohhh, Wilburrrrrrrrrrrr." Then he would 
stamp one foot a few times, it was funny up to the tenth time he did it. Then Clark Beck, one of the 
financial analysts who worked with Tom, started to bellow, "Where's the whores." Clark is six foot 
three and very stocky. This sent Glen into a tizzy. His wife was upstairs and we clearly were not on a 
boat in the middle of the Lehigh River. Glen declared the party over. 
I told Tom and his brothers that I could drive them home. Tom had a house (that his parents had 

helped him buy) located about eight miles away. We had two cars between us, but I figured we could 
come back before the wedding for the one we left. The three not-so-optimistic-anymore guys from 
work said good night and departed. 

Glen was in a panic about spilled drinks on his basement floor so I helped him clean up while Tom 
and his brothers went outside to get some fresh air. They were only gone about three minutes when I 
heard a car start up and drive off. I dashed up the stairs to find that Tom and his brothers had left in 
Tom's car. 

I got in my car and started after them. It had just started to rain and the wind was picking up and 
blowing paper and leaves across the highway. The route to Tom's house was mostly interstate high- 
way and I expected to find them astride the concrete median or in a ditch to the side of the road. To 
my relief, I spotted them on the road ahead, but there was something wrong. I was catching up to 
them way too fast. 

As I drove up behind them, I noticed three things: they were going 35 miles an hour on an interstate 
highway with their emergency flashers on, they were straddling the dividing line for the two lanes, and 
Tom was hanging out the passenger side window, vomiting on the car and the highway. It was like 
looking at one of the reality shows on TV. The ones you watch and then say, "How could those idiots 
be so stupid?" I expected the state police at any second. I wondered how much bail would be. 

I didn't know what to do. The thought of honking my horn and trying to signal them to pullover was 
quickly dismissed on the grounds that it might frighten them into veering into something. I thought of 
trying to pass the, but I was afraid of getting sideswiped or having them think I wanted to race. So, I 
was frozen into inaction. I just kept looking at them and looking in the rearview mirror. The trip to 
Tom's house was 8 miles and only took 15 minutes. It was a long 15 minutes. Only one other car 
came up to us going in our direction and Tom's brother moved to the right to let him pass. 

Miraculously, we made it to Tom's house. My first questions to the driving brother were: "Are you 
crazy?" and "Why were you straddling the lane divider?" He said he couldn't see much because it 
was raining and he lost his glasses. He could, however, see the broken line down the middle of the 
road so he stayed on it to make sure he stayed on the road. That passes for responsible thinking in 

I looked in Tom's car. Tom was passed out in the front seat and the other brother was passed out in 
the back. I dragged Tom out while the driver worked on the other brother. Right away we had anoth- 
er problem. I couldn't find Tom's house key. It was not on the ring with the car keys and it was not on 
Tom's person. At least as far as I could tell. He reeked of alcohol and his previous stomach distress 
and I really didn't like being that close to him. 

It was raining, one o'clock in the morning, and we were standing in front of Tom's house like homeless 
refugees. Tom started to come around a little, so I asked him if any of the neighbors had a key. He 
mumbled that yes, the neighbor behind his house had a key. I remembered this neighbor. He was a 
Vietnamese veteran with a notable temper and a gun collection. Knocking on his door did not seem 
to be an option to me, but now the revived brother had another option I liked even less. He grabbed a 
loose brick from the landscaping and headed around to the back of the house. "I'll break a window in 
back," he called over his shoulder. I told him I didn't think that was a very good idea. He offered to 
make it a small window, but I held firm. I decided to take everyone back to my apartment, so I loaded 
everyone back in the car. We had just started to drive off when the younger brother said, "I've found 
them." Tom had given him the keys for safekeeping and he had come across them reaching into his 
pocket for some gum. I turned the car around and drove back to Tom's house. 


Tom was still about semi-conscious at this point. My plan was to carry him upstairs and put him to 
bed, but his brothers were insistent that we sober him up first. "So he doesn't go like Momma Cass," 
was their reasoning. (A note to my younger readers: Momma Cass was the full figured gal in the 
singing group "The Mammas and the Pappas." She had died in her sleep of asphyxiation a few years 
before). I had my doubts that Tom had anything left in his stomach after what I saw while I was fol- 
lowing them in the car, but nevertheless, we carried him upstairs and his two brothers proceeded to 
sober him up. My efforts to stop them received the admonishment that I wasn't a brother and that 
they knew what was best for him. They were a very close family. 

They ran a cold bath and stripped Tom naked and put him in the tub. They then got him to drink two 
or three cups of coffee. I can remember Tom sitting naked in that ice cold bath, shivering with the 
cold, crying that the coffee was bitter, moaning that he was an asshole for getting drunk and sobbing 
that he didn't deserve to have brothers like them. No, you don't, I remember thinking. We finally put 
Tom to bed about 3 a.m. 

Tom did make it to the wedding the next day. He looked like hell. Diane was furious. It was not an 
auspicious start to the marriage. I still thought they had a chance of making the marriage work, 
though. That is, until the day I helped Tom plant some trees. 

Tom had never done a lot of work on the outside of his house. He had never done much on the 
inside either - the walls were all painted builder's white before Diane moved in. The backyard did not 
have anything on it that Tom couldn't drive over on a mower. His new bride, however, had other 
tastes. She pictured an English garden right there in her Allentown backyard. Tom resisted doing 
anything for the first eleven months of the marriage. Spring came and went. Finally, in August he 
agreed to plant eight Christmas type trees to define the back boundary of the yard and to create 
some privacy from the Vietnamese veteran who lived in the house behind theirs. 

I offered to help when I heard them discussing the plan at work. (Diane also worked at Air Products 
in accounting). So, early one Saturday morning, I arrived at their house with my post hole digger. I 
was immediately sorry I had offered my assistance. Diane had purchased eight huge evergreen 
trees. The root balls were enormous. Reluctantly, Tom and I went out to the back yard to start dig- 
ging holes. Diane went into the house to continue her perpetual painting project. The ground was 
incredibly hard; it was all clay and rocks. It took almost a half an hour of solid work to get one hole 
beg enough for one of the root balls (never mind the instructions to dig a hole that was one and one- 
half times the size). After the holes were completed, our next job was to balance the trees one by 
one on a wheelbarrow, then muscle them from the front driveway to the backyard. For a rich guy, 
Tom had the worst looking wheelbarrow. It was a Fred Flintstone model: incredibly heavy with 
chipped wheels that were almost square in shape. One after another we yanked these gigantic trees 
to the backyard, then jerked and prodded them into their holes. We watered them and packed them 
in with dirt. We staked them and put mulch around the bases. 

We had just put in the last tree when Diane came out. We were now about four hours into this project 
not counting our lunch break. She stood and stared at the trees for a minute, frowned and started to 
cry. When Tom asked why she was crying, she pointed out that the trees were not symmetrically 
arranged. We had the two biggest trees at one end and two of the smallest at the far end. She 
asked us to switch two of the trees. Also, two of the ones in the correct spot did not have their good 
sides facing the house. She wanted these trees dug up and spun 180 degrees. 

Tom looked at her, dropped his shovel and went in the house. She and I stood silently together in the 
backyard. I looked at the trees and she stared at the house. After a couple of minutes, she went into 
the house. I stood in the backyard for five more minutes. No one appeared. Not a sound came from 
the house. I picked up my post hole digger and I went home. 

Tom continued his normal life. He worked hard and put in a lot of hours at work. Since her family 
was in the area, all of their vacations were spent going to Virginia to visit his parents and brothers. 
Tom found time to spend four or five days a week playing golf. He was winning all sorts of amateur 
tournaments in Eastern Pennsylvania. Diane spent more and more time at her parents' house while 
tom played golf or stayed late at work. Two months after the tree plantings, she moved back in with 
her parents and they served papers on each other. 

Tom stayed single for about four years. Then he started dating a nineteen-year-old girl in the Air 
Products secretarial pool. Tom was thirty-one at this point. Julia was terrific. She was outgoing, ath- 
letic and not moody like Diane had been. She liked to go to bed early, but wouldn't go to sleep before 
midnight. Julia thought Tom was the perfect man. She was, after all, nineteen. I had been married 
about a year and my wife loved Julia. We double dated with them a lot, and we all played on the 
same co-ed softball team at work. After a whirlwind courtship, they were married in Tom's living room. 
I looked out through the dining room to the backyard during the ceremony. Seven of the evergreen 
trees we had planted had died off by then. Just one lonely evergreen stood in the far corner and it 
didn't look like it was in the best of shape. 

Things started out well in the second go round. Although she was not wild about it, Julia agreed to 
keep living in the same house as Tom's first wife. Julia and Tom had three kids in the next five years. 
Tom worked hard and put in a lot of hours at work. He cut down his golf to three times a week and 
didn't win quite as many tournaments anymore. All their vacations were spent visiting Tom's parents 
and brothers in Virginia because Julia's family lived in Allentown. Over the years, Tom didn't seem to 
change, but Julia did. She started to voice her own opinions instead of deferring to Tom. She started 
to read a lot more. She was promoted to a position at Air Products where she was doing inside sales 
on the telephone. She was very good at it. One day, Julia ran away to Alabama with one of her co- 
workers, a divorced man about her age. She left a note for Tom saying she was tired of their lifestyle, 
tired of his family, and she felt living with Tom was keeping her from being who she wanted to be. 
She took the children with her. Tom seemed to go completely gray (in hair color and complexion) in a 
matter of weeks. There was a big custody battle. Two years after the divorce he started dating anoth- 
er woman from Air Products. I told him he should try another company (for women at least). He 
decided to give marriage one more try and so they eloped. 

Tom's story is one that I find difficult to reconcile with my previous ideas of how to get the most out of 
life. If you asked me in my twenties if I would like to be wealthy, date and marry beautiful women, 
have an incredible golf game and be very successful at work, the answer is obvious. And yet, Tom 
has had an unhappy life by his own account. He looks ten years older than he is. 

Balance is important. Without it, you would always be falling off your bicycle. You'd be unable to 
carry your tray through the lunch line. You'd find yourself being obsessive and single-minded. But, 
balance alone isn't happiness. 

Happiness has a light touch. It laughs at you, if you order it to come over. If you try to grab it by the 
neck, it dances just out of your reach. It can arrive unexpectedly in the middle of the night. It may 
stay as a houseguest for years and suddenly depart without leaving so much as a note. Happiness is 
balanced on the head of a pin. 


iHere is a pCace tfiat I ^ow 

'Where bneCiness is a treasure 

J? plxice where no one may enter 

Jl haven for my trouSCes and woes 

This chasm is Buried' dieep within 

It is Behind a bc^ddoor 

Jlndthe %y is nowhere to 6e found 

JLCCgoes in and nothing returns 

(Dar^ss shrouds this pCace 
This place of mine 
:, Light is poison and happiness a sin 

' 'there are no memories of Joy 
'ibnfy ones of irrevocaSCe and shamefuf actions 

I've spent many a day in this room 

It has Become asfamiCiar to me as my own face 

'Except that when I stare into a mirror 

I do n»t ^now the person that gazes Bac^ 

I stumBCe andfumBk in the dar^ess of the void 

TamiCiaryet aBeii it is to me 

/ Lost and safe 

^ / Comforted and afraid 

^ . Trapped and secure » 

\ Secret andaCone 

'-JA.icheIR !Neumann~ 

^oMJ^ S^/i>i^'>, Mw 


&aai/iii(j6 6t/ d/irri ■ A/ar/jiuye 



H'Tiat a Jirt fca/// yWuJ caked to his seal black bodjjrom his daily roll in the mud. I can slightlj detect a crooked 

half smile as his bright eyes shine deeply. I can see him look through me, feel him hear deep within mv soul and I 

know he knows everything. 

He has exposed my deepest parts and still accepts me. There is no shun, no shame, no hate. Only love perseveres. That 

is all he knows how to do, love and let love. 

He sighs and yawns lazily, blinking those bright, true eyes. His breath smells like sweet grass and powers as he breathes 

on me and I blow air in his nose as a formal greeting. He blows back harder and makes m\ hair put] up. 1 laiujh out 

loud as he smells my hair and nuzzles my neck, his whiskers tickle. 

He wraps his neck around me in a protective stance and searches my pockets for treats, only to find them vacant. He 

sighs again and his eyes become heavy as I stroke hisjace and whisper .s'lrecf nothings in his ear. 

He dozes as I sit with him in his stall. He looks at me quizzically and then proceeds to cover me with hav. I know he 

thinks he is funny. He lips my hands playjuUy, as well as my buttons. He thinks they're candy. 

The fuzz on his nose is coarse and soft at the same time as we press noses. He wiggles his and I higgle mine and we 

have an entire wi(.ji.jling malch. He, of course, wins. \oi lo mention his nose is ten of mine. 

He smiles triumphantly, I know because he proceeds to sprinkle hay all over my head. Wait. . .uh oh. . .too late, he 

sneezed, hoogers are everywhere! He did it purposely, there's the smirk, the twinkle of the eye, and the nonchalant "I 

LoveYou" shove. 



Casey Donovan 

Remembering You 

Runaway-what the hell was I thinking? "Romeo and Juliet did it, 
they died, but at lest they had fun." I just thought that was all a 
joke that we'd run away together just so we could be together. I 
began thinking, "Where would we go? What would we do?" As long as we 
had each other that was all we needed, right? So one day it hit me. 
Porteloo, yeah, we'd go to Porteloo. Over in Jersey, who knows what 
next to, or how many miles from, or south of, there's this small town 
named Porteloo. In fact, I really don't know if you could call it a 
town. No, it was a fishing hole, nothing more. That was how I remem- 
bered it, I used to go fishing there, well boating I should say 'cause 
we sure as hell didn't catch anything. The place was perfect. It 
smelled bad, it was in the middle of nowhere, it was on the water, and 
it was full of hicks. It was perfect. As long as we were there, it 
was perfect. But then one day you came to me. "Let's go. Go where? 
You know where. But we can't we can't just -. Can't just what? 
Weren't you the one who said-?" She was right. I did say. 

So here we are. What the hell was I thinking? I can't believe 
I could have ever considered this a hideaway. I sat there on the 
beach looking into the water. At least I think it was a beach. It 
looked more like mud than sand. Disgusting. The sea gulls even look 
like they inbreed. Why did I ever think of this place? Dammit. 
I stood up, wiped my ass off, wiped my hands off, and began walking. 
I was looking down. My shirt was unbuttoned, flying in the breeze, 
shorts were tattered at the ends. Running my hand through my hair, 
I brought it back down and realized it reeked of sea gull shit and 
crab urine, who knows what else. Dammit what was I thinking coming 
down here? This place was crap. It smelled bad, it was in the middle 
of nowhere, it was on the water, and it was full of hicks. I began 
wandering in circles, frustrated like I wanted to hit something. 
Still spinning, I reached up and grabbed a fist full of hair. All 
this was like when you stub your toe. You feel like ripping it off 
'cause it was so stupid to hit that piece of furniture when the whole 
time it was your stupid fault for not wearing sneakers. I was looking 
down at the ground, mainly my small toe, and I began walking out of 
tune . Step-step-pause-step-pause-step-step-step-pause-pause . 

Then I saw you. I forgot you. You were squatting down, picking 
up a rock or shell or something. You took your fingertips and pushed 
your hair behind your ears. With the sun hitting you, especially your 
stomach, your skin reflected a golden light. It was hard to look at, 
yet impossible to look away. The skirt that came with your swimsuit, 
allowed a slit of skin to appear, your leg copied your stomach as it 
moved gracefully. You stood up and crossed your arms across your 
chest to deflect the chill. You looked out to the sea and smiled. 
I forgot about you. I began walking to you and copied your expres- 
sion. I smiled. Then, you looked at me. ..and smiled. 



Once upon a mealtime dreary, 
While we labored long and weary. 
Shelling shrimp and food for mortals. 
Came this feline to our portal. 

White she was a free of tether, 
Licking whiskers soft and fine; 
But alas, she had no collar; 
"Fluff" became her name in time. 

AristoCATically espoused us. 

Claimed our Persian rugs for lairs; 

Whisker Lickins as her menus, 

Made her meals from Checkerboard Square. 

Her curious reluctance to leave 
Convinced us that she liked our fare. 
And since that day eight years ago 
Has spent the best of nine lives here. 

-Dr. Richard C. Zlemer 



Shoulders hunched, he stares down into the depths of 
his steaming teacup. His head is on the perpetual downstroke 
of a nod, and his glazed eyes gaze out from an 
expressionless face. 

Two blocks away, a homeless junkie scores his first 
hit of the day. Crouching in an alley: 

works. ...cook spike. 

His head rolls back as he watches the dank valley wind swirl 
Between the red brick walls surrounding him. 

Someone's all but forgotten mother is waiting on the 
chair beside her bed. Inside her, chipped beef, soggy 
toast, and watery cranberry juice dissolve into a bland 
puddle of nutrition. Her head tilts slightly, and her cataract-cloudy 
eyes come to rest on the drab striped curtain, 
at once musty and antiseptic, which obscures her view 
of the gently snoring Alzheimer's patient on the other 

On the shores of a nearby river, the floodwater from 
the spring thaw exposes the femur and iliac crest of 
a man in the final stages of decomposition. A feral 
dog comes upon it, and, delighted with its discovery, 
determinedly tugs the long bone from its moorings and 
trots away, fibrous sinews trailing. 

Convection currents and Brownian movement cause the 
leaves in the bottom of the teacup to meander on a 
fixed path of randomness. His nod resumes and his clear 
eyes gaze out into the dark night, calm wind, bright stars. 

-Young Park 


Candice Klingerman 

Set me free. For my only friend is hard cement and 



Josh Righter 

The Game 

"Pass the sugar, dear," he said, giggUng. 

"Here you go, honey, she said, giggling as well, and passed it across the table. It was just a game they had. 

He put the sugar in his coffee with great relish, the moody yellow diner light somehow giving his eves a lively 
spark rather than a dull sheen, like that of the thirty-something waitress. "Are the kids at the babysitter's?" 

She paused in mock thought, ruminating on whether or not the kids who did not yet exist were at the house of the 
babysitter who had not even been bom to watch them. 

"You did take them over, didn't you?" he said, adding a stem note to his tone. 

"Of course" she snapped theatrically. "Don't start with me! Can't we go out and have a decent meal for once?" 

At this, he almost lost, but managed to get himself under control for the most part, with only a slight smirk tugging 
at his lips. "Oh, I'm sorry, honey, I forgot that I'm the only one who ever causes us to have a bad time these days." 

"Just what the hell is that supposed to mean?" she shot back impressively quickly; she was clearly the superior of 
the two of them as far as the game was concerned. 

He wasn't too shabby himself, however; "It means, settle down and eat your food. I don't bust my ass at the 
factory all day for us to sit here and bicker." 

This was a surprising tum of events. She had been set for a decent retort to his first sentence - something along 
the lines of, "Okay, dear, you're right; I'm just a silly woman, and don't wives get uppity sometimes?" - but the factory 
remark threw her for a loop. Laughter bubbled through her lips like carbon dioxide on the surface of a soda, and he fol- 
lowed suit, because seeing her laugh make him laugh, too. It was another game they had. 

"Good stuff," he said after the laughter had subsided. This signaled the end of the game. Any comments 
conceming the game did. It was an unwritten law. 

"Yep," she said, and she meant it. She couldn't afford not to mean it. That wouldn't happen for several years, 
when the lines would make their sneaky yet bold march across her face. 

"It's sad," he said. He meant the game. 

"I know," she said, snorting in disgust. She meant it. 

They both meant it, because the couldn't not mean it. 

"Jesus, what the hell is your problem?" he snaps, snatching the sugar from her. His grab is too rough, and several 
hundred grains spill out onto the table, in a pattern seen millions of times before, each one unique. 

"That's right, make a scene," she encourages, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "At least that's something I can 
count on." 

He lowers his voice a decibel or two, both of them knowing that it will be up again before long, and likely louder 
than before. "I just don't understand what this fucking attitude is about. We're finally out to eat - one night our of the 
whole god damn year when we can get a babysitter and you're away from the office, and the plant is miraculously running 
on full staff without me - and all you can do is bitch." 

"I'm terribly sorry." She keeps the sarcasm; it suits her well. "You're the picture of happiness, and all I can do is 
sit here and be miserable. Can you ever forgive me?" 

"God damn it!" he shouts, and several of the patrons look over, their looks of concem masking their feelings of 
relief that they are never in such an awkward position. It's just a game they have. 

"You're broken," she mutters. 


I said you're broken!" Suddenly there are tears, and this shocks him. It is not part of the game. "You're broken 
and you're hurting me, and you're not going to be fixed." 

"I don't know what the hell you're talking about," he says uneasily, but he picks up his fork again. This signals the 
end of the game. Any eating does. 

But though he eats often - more than he should, probably, — he does not eat always. No one does. It's an 
unwritten law. 

Later that week, or month, or year, or decade, police are sent over to the house, following a discovery made by his 
sister, who was visiting with some casserole. 

"I'm sorry we're broken," the note says. When he wrote it, he meant it. The gun and four shells - of bullets and of 
people - confirm this. 

He meant it, because he couldn't not mean it. 


Z\€ic/reffe S^. 



J noJaycu in jny mincC, 

"^fet ycu dc net KnciW me. 

J /icJaucu in nty eyes, 

"Ij^t you </o 7ict see me. 

J ficJcCycu iyt my neart, yet you cfc net /eve yne. 

J reach out to you, 

Jr/Bt you do not embrace me 

J Want to Ee Jiear you, 

y/^t you me away. 

d Wait for you, 

M^t you do not coyne. 

c7 Want to cry because you aren t tfiere to comfort me. 

J Want to faff because you aren t tfiere to catc/tyne. 

J Want to disapjoear Because you aren t tfiere to recojjiuze me. 

cj Want to die Because you aren t tfiere to care for -me. 

J am not made ofiicrcefain. 
yl^u cannot BreaKyne. 
J wiff rise aBove tBis. 
yfou cannot ca^e me. 

J wiff move ojt. 
yf^u canttot stop yne. 

J wiff five. 

yf^u cannot Kiff me. 

J wiff survive. 

you do not ynatter to yne. 


I Think Only of You 

As I lie in the calm cool grass 
Alone where I cannot be sezr\ nor heard 
The only noises I hear are Mother Nature's 
I think only of you 

As I lie in this special place 
Time stands completely still 
This is my favorite part of each day 
I think only of you 

I close my eyes and drift away to your arms 
Just as a warm breeze comes over my body 
My ears feel warm and soft like your whispers 
I think only of you 

My blonde hair flows in the wind's gusts 
Like your soft fingers running through it 
The moment is yet to arrive 
I think only of you 

My lips arz open just a cracV. 

The sweet taste of dew is on my tongue 

Like the many tender kisses you gave me each day 

I think only of you 

And the warm breeze dies down 
Your strong arms slowly let go of me 
The memory stays imbedded in my mind 
I think only of you 

The sweet taste is gone 

Breeze is now wind and is cold and stiff 

Storm clouds roll in 

I think only of you 

With one abrupt goodbye warmth was gone 
As the 10,000 angels above cry for my sadmss 
I lie in the grass and pray for a rainbow 
I think only of you 

-Courtney Brenizer 


Life's d "Beach" 

Jennifer McCarthy 

Life and a beach day, 

Are rarely compared, 

But Lohen analyzed cioseiy, 

Common themes are noticeably shared. 

Everyone's in the ocean, 
But you need a tan for tonight, 
Opportunities are feu), 
Decide which ones are right. 

Eager to start your day. 
You jump out of bed, 
Just liKe a child. 
With their whole life ahead. 

You gather your gear. 

Get prepared for the day, 

You get experience and Knowledge, 

In a similar way. 

The right people are found, 
TO accompany you, 
TO the beach or through life. 
Both scenarios hold true. 

You get out on the beach. 
Try to find the right place, 
Just liKe a Kid out of college, 
With the whole world to face. 

Once you are settled, 
Balance responsibility and fun, 
This big tasK in life, 
Is a troubling one. 

Mext comes the nighttime 
Enjoy it, go out, 
When you're old, leave nothing, 
To wonder about. 

Then comes the sad part. 
Get ready for bed, 
And smile while reliving, 
Your day in your head. 


Victoria Checchia 

What am I? 

My stars shine briglit against the blue 

There is one each for State, reflecting their diversity and uniqueness 

I am surrounded by red and white stripes 

Red for the blood of my people who are from distant places and of different 


White for the clouds above, watching over my people and soothing them in time 

of need 

For it is I who represents the strength and wisdom of my people 

Throughout our struggles and hardships I rise up and reassure them that there 

will be better days 

What am I? 

I am the American flag 


U^^ DJjUt 

CUi^'t (^Ot* 4U f ♦vO^ A^ ^M«? 

I *h. 'itM^Myf-^ -riC^X ^tU i^tiit to ^■tH*. 

I A^ lUu. y,ou ^<*4^£iW <tW tu^pUU^. 

F<n f f^, t'il U /i yhiM.. 

5t4 iwvi jxjuvh <t^ if^^^^ M^ Ua*i, 

lulLf. 4~ct 6eMU^ A+M^w*. 

TW«^ <W< ^tW? lUu M«<* «i/»Vt ■»*>t. 

A/«tCv< M^ cJi'JUJbJu., 


ii^f///i/i/if/-i /m/ ■ /1////1 (-Jf/zi/jf-r/i 

Epitome of the Writer 

Casey Donovan 

Oscillating in his hand, the half full, four-ounce drinking glass moved as he did. 
Slow and unrhythmic, staggering and stumbhng, it appeared the drink had also had too 
much of itself. He raised the glass again to his mouth and finished what remained. The 
burning of the hquor as it ran dowTi his throat forced out a shallow gasp, a sign that he 
was fighting off the heat. He brought the glass back down to the arm of his chair and 
he continued rotating it. RoUing around the sides of the glass, the ice banged together 
and against the glass, causing smaU chnks to echo in the room. He sat in an armchair 
with his feet up on the rest. The leather that shelled the chair rarely groaned for he 
rarely mo^'ed. The only noise \\'as the chnking of the ice in the glass. He had been in 
the room for three days, spending the majority of that time in the same position with 
his feet up, drink in hand, and dead stare at the ice. A lot of people will at some point 
think aloud to themselves and \\'hen by themselves often, they'll do it even more. He 
hadn't so much as breathed hea\-ily. 

It was supposed to be his fifth book, fifth book pubhshed, that is. It was due in 
a week and though he hadn't much left, he could not finish it. That was his biggest 
problem, that nothing was good enough. For him, ever)'thing had to be perfect. Not 
that every word of ever}' sentence of ever}' paragraph had to be perfect, just his point 
had to be perfect. If he couldn't get his point across and make it prominent, what was 
the point of \\T:iting? All he has to do was make his point and make it weU. That was 
the cause of his isolation. He had locked himself in a room to find the point and sitting 
in a chair drinking hea^ily vv'as the outcome. It was kiUing him that he couldn't find the 
right words. AR he did, was sit in that chah:. 

At last, he showed signs of life and moved. He removed his feet from the rest, 
put them on the floor, and sat up. Then, he rested his forearms on his knees, hung his 
head lo^^^ and sat gazing at the floor. .After a few minutes, he raised his head and 
cocked it to the side. He set his eyes on a pile of paper, his book. They rested next to a 
t}'pewTiter, waiting impatiently for additional layers. Every now and then, a page cor- 
ner ^^'ould ripple as if it were calling to its creator, asking for his company. It was a 
sporadic reminder to the author that there was work to be done and it annoyed him. 

Ironically, the book was a reflection of its author that he himself was unaware 
of. It was about a man, who in his past was amazing. The man held game, riches, glory, 
a family, a hfe to be proud of, but he lost it all. All that he had earned \-anished through 
casualties and fatahties. He decided to give up and forfeit, but no matter how hard he 
tried, he could not end himself completely. So he decided to rebuild, but in the process, 
he reahzed it was too late. There was no way he would gain back ever}'thing he lost. 
He threw away too many years and could not prevent his upcoming fate. So \\ith his 
last morsels of Hfe, he attempted to fulfill one more expectation, and hope it became one 
last triumph. After so, he died. 


All of it was written except that last page. 

His eyes stayed locked on his piece. He continued to shake the ice within the 
glass and the clinks continued to echo. At last, he stood up. Straddling the footrest, 
slightly hunching over, and pinching his shoulder blades together, which puffed out his 
chest, he stood as if he were about to wall< into battle. His face held an expression of 
determination. Ready to attack.. .he staggered over to the bar. 

As he clumsily \'oyaged over, he began mumbhng and slurring every word that 
managed to exit his mouth. Reaching the bar, he began to refill when he stopped and 
obser\'ed the glass. Then, he obsen'ed the bottle. He decided the bottle was better for 
it held more; he shrugged his shoulders and carelessly let the glass free fall into the sink. 
It smashed into tiny fragments and that was the last chime of the night from the glass. 
The ocean of the bottle now replaced the chimes. The Uquor wa\'es smashed up against 
the sides and swashed back and forth, w^hile he progressed to the t}^ewTiter. 

He grabbed the chair with his left hand and held the bottle in his right. He 
hesitated to sit down but knew he had to do it and now was better than ever. 
Slamming the bottle down onto the desk, he pulled out the chair, and took a seat. One 
at a time and very slow, he embarked on the t)^ing stage. After every few sentences or 
so, he'd grab the bottle and take a swig. At a point where the bottle stood half-empt)', 
he thrust upwards from the desk and knocked the chair over. He yanked the bottle 
from the desk and began ranting and ra\ing across the room. He swallowed some 
drink, ranted, swallowed some drink, ra\'ed, swallowed some drink, ranted and ra\'ed 
until he eventually threw^ his back against the wall, and sHd down to the floor. His head 
wobbled back and forth tr) to stay erect while his eyelids struggled to stay separat- 
ed. Hoisting the bottle to his Hps, he poured aU but a shot of liquor down his throat. 
He lowered the bottle back down to his side barely holding onto it, and closed his eyes. 

Though it seemed he had passed out finally from intoxication, his eyehds slowly 
parted, and he began to rise. He only used his legs to get up against the wall, slowly 
ascending, still clutching the bottle. Once again, he brought the bottle to his lips and 
turned towards a door about to leave, when he subtly stopped. Remo\ing the bottle 
from his mouth, he turned around and went back to the t)'pewT:iter. He picked up the 
chair, put the bottle down, and took his seat again. In the slowest, oaf-Uke way, he 
typed, most likely misspelling e\ery word he t)^ed if he e^•en knew what he was t^'ping. 
An unrhythmic t)'ping of rattUng keys bounced around the room until finally, with a 
hesitated moment, he entered a period. The end. Rising from the chair, he regained the 
hquor bottle and turned away from the desk. In one step, he collapsed to the floor. He 
fell flat on his stomach, yet the bottle somehow managed to stay upright and spin on its 
bottom edges. It took one last spin and fell to its side, empt)ing its contents onto the 
floor, just like him. His fifth, was his final. The end. 



I've traveled across the continent 
to the land of open skies, where 
the horizon is trimmed by the 
raw undulations of mountainous 

As I wriggle my toes in the 
rocky sand of Puget Sound, my 
infant eyes brim with the light 
of the drowning sun. 

-Young Park 


^Ifi <■/(-> /m/ (l/)r. ■ /Uimi (■ Ji/i rrnii in 



Amy Boros 


Falling within myself 

Everything is like some parallel universe 

Am I coming or going? 

Holding on to what I think is real. 

Grasping, reaching out, 

But to what or whom? 


I'm falling to a change. 

Falling into myself wondering 

What the hell is going on? 

This cannot be the way. 

The way it is supposed to be. 


Falling within myself 

Realizing the repetitiveness 

Of every lasting day. 

Causing some ordered chaos 

That drives me paranoid. 


Falling, but yet, 

Waiting to stop. 

To stop the repetitiveness 

To stop the ordered chaos. 

To stop the paranoia. 

Silence — 

Deafening silence, as I look 

I look for what is the first time. 

Another day... 

Another day to dream, or 

Another day to stop it all 

Another day, but yet I have stopped. 


I stop and step out 

Step out of the mainstream 

Of busy people with busy lives. 

Deep breath 

Now I live my life my way! 

No looking back! 

No looking back at the ordered chaos 

I'll decide my own final destination. 

I lived my life with many regrets. 

Complaining that the world was cruel. 

Changing and switching as soon as 

I am comfortable. 

Bitching that nothing seems fair. 

Nothing is ever my way. 

Too afraid, too naive. 

Always making reasons.. 

Reasons why I can't or don't 

It's time to learn. 

Learn from mistakes made. 

Follow my own basic advice. 

Screw the world and 

All its consequences. 

You only live once. 

No turning back. 

Take chances, follow your heart. 


Ever/thing will change. 

Forget getting hurt. 

There is always someone better. 

Say what you mean 

It won't be there forever. 

Screw the weather. 

Dancing in the rain is fun! 

No turning back! 

No more regrets 

Just a chance to enlighten 

The world. 



Forget the rules 

They were meant to be broken. 

Be unique ,._ .-JifT- 
Take the world by storm!.' '''•^^ 
Do it your way. 





(foLbte.'L andfaitei 9 ipin 

9. know no wcm of ^toppina 

^{gund and tound 9 ao 

*WiM no hope of haltina 

Q tpin with the. tp&ad ofangtn tvotdi 
? ivAitl wit A the downward bpLxal of d&pz&ithed tkoaahtt 

^ut of contt-ol with, no Aope 

"CpnfuiiLon am.aiiei to a toat 

^Ae wlndi Aowl wit A nw pain 

Qxope. and Aappineii ate victimJt ofnw deitzuction 

^aitet and faitei 
^{gund and xound 

ofTo end it in iiaAt 
^o itoLace a witAin teacA 

Mr. Invisible 

David Molettiere 

It so happened that by some cruel twist of fate, I had been born into the wrong family. My par- 
ents-loud, larcenous, undereducated, and overly fond of libations-were evidently aware of the mistake 
early on and tried to remedy the situation by constantly ridiculing me and my silent, solitary ways. My 
only brother Leonard, a more appropriate product of their unfortunate pairing, shared their views and 
added curative beatings to the regime. Since I also lacked the size and strength that my brother had 
inherited from our parents, I grew up the human equivalent of a chameleon, trying to blend into my 
surroundings as much as possible to avoid the wrath that my very presence in the family domicile 
incurred. I also spent an inordinate amount of time at the local library. The order and quiet inside the 
walls of that venerable building provided refuge from the chaos that awaited me at home and the 
books provided sanctuary of another kind. My bruises, both mental and physical, faded to nothing- 
ness while I explored the worlds contained within the pages of those books. 

Upon my eighteenth birthday, I packed up my belongings and left. My father died soon after 
my departure and the last time I actually laid eyes upon my remaining relatives was at his funeral. I 
heard from my mother sporadically, mostly alcohol-fueled, sentimental Christmas cards beginning with 
how much she missed me and ending with a not too subtle plea for money. When I was twenty-one, I 
read an article in the local paper about my brother's incarceration for attempted bank robbery. I sup- 
pose that prisoners are limited in their communication with the outside world, and I was thankful that 
Leonard chose not to waste his phone calls and postage stamps on me. Eventually, after several 
moves from one nondescript apartment building to another, I managed to elude my mother's missives, 
and, by avoiding social contact and keeping my relationships at work strictly professional, I finally 
found myself alone - blissfully alone, i had my books, my music, my other scholarly pursuits, and I 
relished the peace and quiet necessary to enjoy them. 

I didn't realize that I had actually become invisible until the occasion of my thirtieth birthday. 
July twenty-third fell on a Friday and since no one I worked with was more than a passing acquain- 
tance, I received no birthday best wishes nor cake nor slightly risque joke-gifts during working hours 
and there were neither cards nor congratulatory phone calls awaiting me when I returned home. The 
remainder of the weekend gave further credence to my invisibility. In the past, I'd received perfunctory 
waves from the neighbors having their weekly barbecue around the communal swimming pool, but 
now seemed to elicit no manner of recognition as I passed them on my way to and from the refuse 
container at the rear of the building. On Sunday afternoon, as I did my weekly shopping, I had to 
forgo my desire for lamb chops for dinner when I couldn't get the attention of the butcher and was 
repeatedly rammed by the shopping carts of other patrons who obviously didn't know I was there. 
When I exited the store I was the only one not set upon by the predatory, donation-hawking firefighter 
who hovered near the sliding glass doors. 

On Monday morning, when I arrived at the cafeteria on the first floor of the building where my 
company was housed, it was already swarming with my fellow office workers and, as a prank, I decid- 
ed to experiment with my newfound power. I stood in line behind the coffee urn and when my turn 
came, filled my Styrofoam cup with decaf, added two sugars and one creamer, placed a plastic lid 
over the cup and walked out the door without paying. No cashier called after me; no one who joined 
me in front of the elevator commented on my oversight. By the time I arrived on the third floor, I 
promised myself to never again use my gift of invisibility for wrongdoing. It wasn't the possibility of 
discovery that alarmed me; I feared that I was succumbing to the old adage that the acorn does not 
fall far from the tree and I wanted no part of reclaiming my heritage. I kept to my promise and 
cleansed my conscience of my crime two weeks later while walking home from the library. I snatched 
a child from the path of a preoccupied bicyclist, set her on the grass, then continued on my way-using 
my invisibility as a shield to ward off the overly exuberant gratitude of her parents. Satisfied that my 


good deed more than paid for my evil one, I returned to my apartment, relishing the chance to start 
reading The Shining that I had just checked out. There was a knock at my front door before I had 
placed my keys and wallet on the dining room table. I uttered a mild expletive, then returned to the 
door and stared through the peephole at an older, taller, hardened image of myself. 

"How did you find me, Leonard?" I asked, without opening the door. 

"Oh, that was a tough one. I knew you'd show up sooner or later at-" 

"The library." I finished his sentence while shaking my head in sad resignation. 

"You got it. Now let me in. I have a message from the old lady and it's kinda personal." 

Not wanting to create a scene, I opened the door and admitted him. "What are you, like some 
kind of monk?" he asked as he looked around my sparsely furnished apartment. "You said you had a 
message from Mother?" I didn't feel the need to engage him in a conversation about the merits of 
harmony obtained through feng shui. 

"Yeah. It's 'thanks for showing up at my funeral, asshole.'" 

Stunned, I sat down slowly on the dining room chair closest to the door. "But, I had no idea. 
When did it happen?" "Couple of weeks ago. They said it was her heart. Who knew she had one, 
huh?" "I'm-I'm truly sorry, Leonard. If you've come about the estate, I assure you that I have no inter- 
est in-" 

"Estate? Who do you think we're talking about here? After I paid off the hospital there wasn't 
even enough left to bury her. Lucky for me, O'Malley took up a collection at the tavern. He said he 
felt like he owed it to her, her being his best customer." 

"Then, if you don't mind my asking, why have you sought me out?" 

"Because I need a favor and I figure you owe me after me taking care of the old lady in her 
final days and all." 

"What favor?" I asked suspiciously. Even guilt associated with the lack of devotion had its lim- 
its. "Well, I'm having a little trouble with a guy over some money I owe him." 

I sighed gratefully. I had a modest savings account and depleting would be a small price to 
pay if it insured no further contact from my brother. "Well, if it's a matter of a loan, I..." 

"Thanks, sport, but we're talking about a major chunk of change." 

"Then what do you want from me?" 

"Just an hour of your time. I set up a meeting with this guy, Tony, to discuss paying him back 
in installments. I have to make sure it's not a double cross and need you as a back-up in case some 
of his enforcers show up to interrupt our conversation-" 

"Back-up? Me?" I asked in horror, rising from the chair. "I hardly qualify as a bodyguard-" 

"Relax. If these other guys do show up, all you have to do is call me on my cell phone and we 
get the hell out of there." 

"Oh, I don't know, Leonard. Surely you have other acquaintances more suitable for the task." 

He studied the cuticles on his right hand before answering. "So that's the thanks I get for pro- 
tecting you all those years." 

"You? Protecting me?" 

You heard me. If you'd looked up once or twice from those books you were always reading, 
you would have noticed that we lived in a real tough neighborhood. Kids like you didn't stand a 
chance unless they had a brother like me around looking out for them. If it hadn't been for me, you 
would have never made it past the third grade." He sighed dramatically. "Of course, I should have 
known that when I needed the favor returned, Mr. High and Mighty would turn me down flat." 

I'd never considered it before, but growing up under Leonard's protection was not only possi- 
ble, but probable. While the local bullies terrorized many of my classmates on a daily basis, the only 
beatings I had ever received were at the hands of the man now standing before me. The revelation 
that he had saved me from pummeling by strangers evidently triggered some primeval feelings of 
indebtedness, because I found myself asking, "That's it? Just warn you if I see them?" 

"That's it, little brother. Just a couple of minutes of your time and I get the chance to straighten 
out my life." Then something quite remarkable happened. Leonard walked over to where I was 

standing and enveloped me in tnis arms. "I knew I could count on you, buddy. It really is true what 
they say about blood being thicker than water." He released me and walked to the door. "Pick you up 
Saturday. Twelve-thirty, sharp." Before I had a chance to answer, he was gone. 

Leonard arrived at the appointed hour and informed me of what was expected of me while driv- 
ing to the restaurant. He gave me a cell phone, instructed me in its use, then handed me a piece of 
paper on which he had written the number of the phone that he would be carrying. He then described 
the men that I was to watch for. "Two of them. In their thirties, crew cuts, cheap suits. You'll know 
them if you see them." "That's odd," I mused. "I'd always assumed that people of that kind had hun- 
dred dollar haircuts and wore designer clothing." 

"Yeah, when they want to announce to the whole world that they're connected. These guys will 
be trying to keep a low profile. Speaking of which, when we get there, be sure not to look too obvi- 

"Don't worry about me. No one will even know I'm there. You see, I'm invisible." He looked 
from the windshield to me then back again, shaking his head derisively the entire time. "Ridicule if you 
will, Leonard, but I've conducted an experiment to check the validity of my hypothesis, and have 
proved it to be true. I really am quite invisible." 

"Oh yeah? Then how come I can see you?" 

"Because you're looking for me. I'm visible if people expect to see me, but otherwise I'm not." 

"You kill me, you know that?" he said with a laugh. He was still chuckling to himself when he 
pulled his car into a parking spot on a side street one block west of the restaurant. He sent me out 
ahead of him to scout the location. 

Arturo's Ristorante was a landmark in our city, an aging soldier that had managed to withstand 
the onslaught of nouvelle cuisine, fusion cuisine, minimalist cuisine, and every other dining trend that 
had threatened its existence over the years. It remained a mid-sized, mid-priced, embossed wallpa- 
pered, plush-boothed Italian restaurant where every entree came with a plate of pasta on the side, 
even if the entree was a plate of pasta. I looked through the glass entrance door and walked slowly 
past the windows at the front of the building, peering in at the unsuspecting diners. I walked down the 
alleyway and checked the parking lot. Leonard had told me to look for a black Lincoln Town Car, 
Tony's mode of transportation, and I spied it sitting like a fat emperor surrounded by his lowly subjects. 
Finding no deficient hoodlums lurking in the vicinity, I called Leonard to apprise him of the situation, 
then doubled back to continue my stroll up and down the sidewalk. He arrived five minutes later, nod- 
ded imperceptibly in my direction, and entered the eatery. I watched through the door as he walked to 
the bar area and greeted a well-heeled man about his own age. I assumed this to be Tony. The 
meeting appeared to be off to an auspicious beginning. Tony draped his hand across Leonard's shoul- 
der as the hostess escorted them through the restaurant. I followed from window to window, and 
watched as they were seated in a booth in the back and then immediately surrounded by a sea of 
waiters and busboys. Thus hindered, I turned my attention from the windows back to my clandestine 
Neighborhood Watch. Arturo's was situated on a busy thoroughfare in the older, established area of 
the city, so there was a good amount of foot traffic as people traveled from block to block to shop and 
run errands. None of them, however, bore even the slightest resemblance to the men that Leonard 
had described. After twenty minutes of unproductive guard duty, I relaxed. I leaned against the side 
of the building, stifled a yawn, and idly watched a young woman cross the street in the middle of the 
block and step up on the curb directly in front of me. She smiled and said, "You won't tell on me, will 

I was dumbstruck-not only because I was unaccustomed to being addressed by attractive 
young women, but by the fact that she could see me at all. When I finally managed to find my voice, it 
had regressed to its prepubescent timbre. "Ex-excuse me?" I croaked. 

"For jay-walking. I know I should have gone to the end of the block, but, since there were no 
cars, coming, I cheated. Let's just keep it our little secret, okay?" She had an enchanting way of wrin- 
kling up her nose to punctuate the end of her sentences. Afraid of repeating the high-pitched chirp, I 
nodded affirmatively, and watched her walk to the entrance of the restaurant. I left my post after she 


had entered and, as I had with my brother, trailed her progress past the windows, anxious to catch a 
glimpse of the man lucky enough to be her dining companion. To my dismay, it was Leonard, sitting 
alone in the booth at the back. He rose to allow her to slide in behind the table as a busboy appeared 
with place settings and menus. Something was obviously amiss. Even if Tony had left the table for 
some reason, there should have been evidence of his recent presence. But the table had been 
cleared, and he was nowhere to be seen. Wondering if he had used the kitchen door as an exit, I 
walked once again to the parking lot, only to find his car in the exact spot where I had seen it last. I 
looked through the open kitchen door. There were no patrons, only white garbed chefs and helpers, 
filling orders with military precision. Perplexed, I made my way back to the front of the building. 
Leonard was waiting for me just outside the door. He motioned with his head in the direction of the 
corner, indicating that we should continue our ruse. I nodded that I understood and turned and walked 
in the direction of the car. 

"Hey, bud," he said, catching up with me mid-block, "you did a good job today." Brandishing a 
wad of bills, he peeled a crisp hundred from the top and tried handing it to me. "Here's a little some- 
thing for your trouble." 

"Where did that come from?" I asked, refusing to accept the proffered money. "I thought the 
whole reason for this meeting was so that you could work out some sort of payment plan." 

"Yeah, well, let's just say that Tony stamped my lOU 'paid in full,' and," he paused to add a the- 
atrical wink, "I even got to keep the change." 

"I'm afraid I'm not following you. And who was that girl?" 

"Oh, so you saw her, did you?" He put the roll of money back into his pocket. 

"Yes, and interestingly enough, she saw me. But that's not the point. Who is she, Leonard?" 

"Let's just call her the payment, signed, sealed and, more importantly, delivered." 

"What are you talking about?" 

"I'm talking about commerce. You know, supply and demand." 


"Meaning that Tony Schiappa wanted something and I supplied it, not only paying off my debt 
but also making a sizable profit." 

"You supplied him with a girl? It seems to me that a man of his stature, dubious as it is, could 
have any girl he wanted." 

"Yeah, well, he was having trouble getting this particular girl. That's where I came in. When I 
was in the joint, I had a cellmate named Ritchie, who worked for Tony. Nice enough guy, but prison life 
bored him. He needed a hobby, so he took up singing. He gave a grand performance for the D.A. 
and suddenly he wasn't my cellmate anymore. It seems like he was getting ready to sing for the Feds. 
As you can imagine, Tony wasn't too happy about the whole deal. Anyway, I remembered that Ritchie 
had a sister, so I called her up and told her I had an important message for my old friend Ritchie and 
after a lot of persuading, she agreed to meet here today." 

"No," I moaned, leaning against a newspaper vending machine. The revulsion I felt made it 
impossible for me to continue. "Tony's holding that poor young woman captive to persuade her brother 
not to testify?" He nodded sagely. "I bet my man Ritchie is going to come down with a terrible case of 

"But what if he doesn't?" 

"I don't know. That's none of my concern-or yours either. Tony doesn't appreciate people who 
get too nosy." I clasped my stomach and asked weakly, "And the men I was watching for? They 
weren't thugs, were they? They were Federal agents." 

"Very astute, little brother." Wow, listen to that. Your big words are starting to rub off on me. 
Anyway, yeah, I was afraid that they might be tailing her and I figured that Tony wouldn't appreciate it if 
I brought the Feds down on him. C'mon. If we hurry, we can still make the light." I stumbled after 
him; my mind filled with thoughts of the young woman whose only cnme was having a brother not 
unlike my own. It was no wonder she could see me. We were practically kindred spirits, and as such, 
I had sorely failed her. I stopped walking and feigned searching my pockets. "Wait a minute, Leonard. 


I-I think I must have dropped the cell phone outside of the restaurant." 

"Oh, for Christ's sake. Well, go find it. I'll wait for you here." I sprinted back to the restaurant 
parking lot and grateful that the Lincoln was still there, I pulled the phone out of my pocket and dialed 
nine-one-one. I told the operator that a woman was being held against her will at Arturo's Ristorante, 
supplied the address, then described her, Tony, and Tony's car. The operator asked for my name. 
Inspired by the comic books that had enthralled me as a very young child, I whispered, "Mr. Invisible, 
The Righter of Cosmic Wrongs." I quickly pressed the off button and started back to where I had left 
the last vestige of my sorry family. 

"Did you find it?" he asked at my approach. I patted my breast pocket to indicate that it was in 
my possession. "It was right where I left it," I said. 

"You okay, bro? You look a little strange." 

"Actually, Leonard, I've never felt better in my life." 

"I guess your little adventure got your juices flowing. We should hang out more often. It's good 
for your health." 

Empowered by my foray into crime fighting, I faced him squarely and said, "I'm afraid that 
won't be possible. In fact, I don't think we'll be seeing each other ever again." 

"Oh yeah? Why's that?" 

"Because you're going to be leaving town," 

"What the hell are you talking about? 

"The phone call I just made to the authorities alerting them to a kidnapping in progress." 

"You didn't." He choked out the words, his face turning the color of an interesting French Pinot 

"I assure you that i did. And when asked to identify myself, I used your name. I'd imagine that 
both the FBI and Mr. Schiappa's henchmen will desire to speak to you about the matter and I doubt 
that you'll want to be at home when either party comes to call." He lunged for me, as I'd expected. 
What I hadn't expected was his trajectory into the street when I used my rudimentary knowledge of 
the martial art Aikido to sidestep his assault. Nor had I anticipated his landing on hands and knees 
directly in front of a behemoth City Sanitation truck. There followed a cacophony of sounds: the whine 
and hiss of hydraulic brakes, a sickening thud, the cries of horror from passers-by who witnessed 
Leonard's demise, and, in the distance, a siren's wail. People rushed from all directions to better view 
the carnage and I backed my way slowly through the crowd. No one noticed me, of course. The only 
evidence of my existence was a mild disturbance of the air around them as I made my retreat. I 
decided to walk the several miles back to my apartment. It had turned into such a lovely afternoon. 


&//tc>f<i 6u Qi)i'. t/uzfvn (f/eAnzmin 


'By the Hand' 

Take my hand, 

i will not let yol" fall, 

Lead me to where vol ark 

I WILL follow, 


Take my hand. 

Lead me to where yoi are 

Show me the wa\ , 

To your heart. 




isove i§ yoa 

Isov^ is r(2al. I havjz SjZizn it. I Sjzsz it wliizn I lool< at you. 

IsOV!2 is rszal. I havss sm^llszd it. 1 smgll it in your hair. 

IsOViZ is rfzal. I tiavg hgard it. I hszar it wlign you sp^&k. 

LoViZ is rgal. 1 liav^s f^lt it. I Ji^izi it wlign I t^old you. 

IsOV!2 is rgal. I hav(z spol^gn it. 1 spizak it, whgn 1 sps2al< your namsz. 

1boV(2 is rgal. I liavsz tastizd it. 1 tastsz it wliszn w<z kiss. 

IcOVfZ is rizal. I bszliszvjz it. I bfzliizvsz it, bszeausg 1 found you. 

lsOV(2 is rizal. It is rgal, bizcausiz I lovsz you, and you lov^z msz. 


Poems by Tony Beard 

you are t^e only one i ti^mk oj 
w^et^er I am l)erei or if I'm t^ere 
I want so mud) to he w'mI) you 
tlyougi) a relaUonsi))pf I wouldn't hare 

you are my best frien5 by far 
ani) bem0 w\t{) you is a blast 
tl)0UQl) I want more/ 1 can't 
t^is I've learneb from ty)e past 

I am so torn r\Ql)t now 
&{)oul'b I tell you, or sl)oulh I not? 
you niig(;t (oo^ at me wki) b]&0ust 
wi)kl) would make my lyeart rot 

maybe it's wljat you want too 
]oerl)ap& you're just waitina for me to say 
to say tl)at there is more there 
more than meets the eye 

so much I long to foss you 
but what would you thmkl 
would you be overcome with joyl 
or would your heart just sinfe 

what will come of all this! 
I will waitf and I will see 
whether this love will happen or not 
t^e love that cannot be 


CS7 wanted to write a sonnet about pou. 

^Uhepen kissed thepa^e moistlp, 

C^ut uttered not a word. 

Q^ow surprisingly difficult 

T^o write about someone who is dear to one's soul, 

Tyo capture in verse 

'J^e precious inner beauty that is you 

GS^ akin to trying to hold the vast universe 

©7/? the palm ofmp tiny hand. 

C^ut how do CZ§7 exjph'n to you 

^hatyou are a special Joy in my life? 

'J^o be with you 

<S^s nothing shori of 


^r (3^-en Q^chramm' 

yj C/Oiu3 vJLo/^ Jj< 

O couXc noAi/e. hye/SAx- 

—Vke. civiX p/uuwrux VivaJC one -Wxkm2 -twe la S/ce. -tne enc ol Vfve, a/tiXtewMi; 

—Vrve, fYvaVrveA. rvaoAAva. la ne. i&AMuL&a ^^^^A\ n-e^ Ioayuaa^; 

—Vrve LaVfve/L. KAuyAirux- nia, laJLe, dexMv; 

—Vfie, motn-e/t- ii/iaa/vaX^ yvam nia, LcvmAlu. tvo-v^^ 'toruDM'/Uva. iX VfwAx., ai eA^x he., WxhuS -ti/^ <yi ole; 

—toe ■Qomt, ie|x on, a coo'tiiXep, cm, a ooic -WinXe^ft tvltm/t; 

— -true a^MAXMvieA. ciaJcuxxi, Ood -to rvuyCexyi rve/i dxwuiuj,; 

—Vfw- oon mouio, m a,n, UAiaeJiCi'uDund coXJe -Dyecpcu/rux Ooc -to -tccep, ru/m, iuxICe,; 

—Vfxe, hyQAJ^ toAyKAAXAX Vn/UHicLn. Vive. VvoAn. ou/iaavcl, Vfie. ^vixuvt jxM. lUxo^.; 

—Vrxe. aid \v!ofrva/a iMi/i^lCii tnaJouKi, n^/r, -v^xm -to oauMvoa. coAvceAiXAXxXian, C€i,rap; 

—tn/C, otc rruui Wxu/tuva, nia, iwvn in ti/fie -to -cm 

O oqu)m noAle VyceAi tuux al -tlvea^e people,, 
•atiX SoS cnoiie 1<2^ roe 
'tti/e pe/iAon vj awt -to ■ce, 
<uvo -ttT/oil petAoa iA nve. 

-Jv,cnee ^ICc^lCatiAu 

Culture Shock 

Stuart Goldstein 

On September 13th of 2002, I finally decided to enter myself into the emergency ward 
at Abington Memorial Hospital. I had only been in school at DelVal for three weeks and that 
night was my first night working at CVS part time. For the prior week before this up until this 
time, I had been experiencing terrible pains in my right testicle, including extreme swelling. My 
thought was that it happened from a trauma there done by my seven-year-old cousin. The pain 
first started occurring the most after he hit me there at a family dinner. It turned out to that it 
was just a coincidence. I waited in the hospital all night being checked out by one specialist 
after another. Finally the head doctor, after 12 hours of testing and waiting, decided that he 
wanted to do exploratory surgery. Two hours later I was in the surgical room and when I awoke, 
I was told I had testicular cancer. They had removed my right tesficle and they told me that they 
were pretty certain that nothing had spread. I caught pneumonia fi-om the surgery and experi- 
enced fluid in my lungs, which they drained very quickly, but which led the doctor to be very 
suspicious. He decided to have a CAT scan done on my lower abdomen, pelvis and lungs. What 
they found was that the cancer had spread and fonned tumors all throughout both of my lungs. 
Within the next day 1 was transferred to Fox Chase Cancer Center where I would be treated 
with chemotherapy. The process involved 3 months of chemotherapy. I would receive it for five 
days straight every third week. There would be four rounds of chemo. They wasted no time in 
hitting me with chemotherapy. 1 became very ill, dropping 20 pounds my first week in the hos- 
pital. 1 threw up for three months straight almost every day. It was horrible but I was strong and 
I fought. On November 23rd they declared me cancer free. 

When I was diagnosed with this cancer it sent me flying into this entire culture that 1 
had never experienced before: the culture of cancer patients. As a person who was never ill my 
entire life and knew nothing about cancer, I had no idea how many people suffered ft-om this 
deadly illness. I would walk into the cancer center two, sometimes three, times a week and 
every time I would see new faces. Hundreds of new faces. I was one of the youngest being 
treated in the facility. I felt like the only person on the planet with cancer at age 18. 1 was treat- 
ed completely different. 1 had so much attention given to me that I almost became sick of it at 
certain times. I couldn't eat anything but yet people would bring me all my favorite foods and 
snacks. People would bring me gifts, cards. You name it, I got it. It was an entirely different 
reality fi-om the reality I was used to. My bald head attracted attention along with my pale skin 
and skinny figure. I felt very out of place. Everywhere around me in the cancer center was the 
elderly, ill and sick. 1 would think to myself on some days. Why am 1 in here? I'm 50, 60 years 
younger than the majority of people in here. In reality, I learned that anyone could acquire this 
illness. I learned it the hard way. There is this entire culture of people that exist due to this ill- 
ness. No one but the people who have suffered this can understand what it's like to know that 
you may not live due to something beyond your control. Only these people know what it's like 
to throw up every day. Only these people know that cancer has no pity, no remorse and it does- 
n't care who you are. At times it seemed like a dream. I almost didn't want to beliexe that I was 
within this culture. There was a period where I was in denial. Where 1 didn't want to belie\e 
that 1 might die in a matter of months. I didn't ask to be entered into this culture of people, but 
it is something that 1 will live with for the rest of my life. 1 will li\e in fear that 1 may become a 
more active person in this culture once more. That 1 would be fighting the illness once more. 


Alone and Searching 

To be afraid. Never had I experienced an adjustment, so 
different, so vague. 

Alone, no friends. Nobody to turn to. Only frigid and cold. 

Look into my eyes. Tell me how you feel. Do you care? 
Do you listen to my cries? 

I reach out to you. To have someone to hold, to love. 

All I ask for is a friend. A kind, loving person. One to talk to, 
to put my sorrows to an end. 

I search for you my friend, near and far. I don't know what 
to look for. I don't know who you are. 

I slowly adjust to my surroundings, and soon I feel complete. 
I have friends, but still that special someone I fail to meet. 

I thought you were that person, but now I have begun to see. 
You are not right for just anyone. You are not right for me. 

I have to now move on, and so my search proceeds. I will follow 
the sun, and soar with the wind wherever it may lead. 

No One Answers 

I call to you. I reach out my hand, waiting for you to 
grasp. But still no one answers. 

I lean forward. Head in hands and tears down my cheek. 
Still no one answers. 

I feel dirty, ashamed at my past, longing for a new future. 
Still no one answers. 

I look to the stars, and wish upon each one, hoping that 
some day they will come true. Still no one answers. 

I long for a friend, my soulmate, someone to love. 
Still no one answers. 

I wish for a new day, a better tomorrow in which I will find 
my soulmate, my tears will be silenced by a warm touch and a 
gentle kiss, and my longed for wishes will finally be answered. 

^/ of'i/i-'> /»/ (■fiiu/off'- /\ It /If/'- r infill 

cirrus clouds, blue sfetes 

iO. 1999 

^ainl Uuc hutb sle^M cLeuiis 
pelting jfain lig/i£ning ^lasAlng 


orb of nigh t gliding 
silent mothcTshidow 
gTiccs not y OUT pale flight 


Are ^ou ]ox)\vi[ &ad) bayl 
You l^ear t^e rustling leaves... 
W^v) bo you not smilel 



I %vidl like dirt, ?wes>t m^d fsm vcith a fege o^' horse. s> faiiDt 
s'ftef-SPDell o? PDoroiDg's perfopDs s'dJ fsr-off shsipDpoo. Ky 
half cfrips Jq-vcd o^?er PDy fopehes'Gf n it is too short to res'ch 
SDyvchere else. 

°K}' clothes s're so^JceJ through md p^y ffce is (Jirt strei'fc.eJ. 
It looks s^s i5:' I hs^e feeeD cryiDg J)Ut yet I hs^eo't -md Ym 
SP^iliDg s'll the while. "Kiy&e I did cry od the iDSi(Je s'S I 
Gfs'DceGf iD the rsiii^ ^y p^ysel?. I pat p^y anm oat s'dgI spUD ti^ 
§ circle vcithoat s> cs're ii^ the \'Corlci. I felt little apm. like 
ths't kid -vcho s'lvccys P^sJlces vrad pies s'Dci es'ts AA?orP3S. I didn't 
hs^e to fee pjs'ture. I ciiJo't hs^e to cs're or -w'orry, snd yet I 
did m the ss'PJe iDSts»Dce. 

I still \i9VQ to cs're, to vcorry md foe PDs'tare. I cs'D't be, ths't 
little kid ?or so loDg foecs^ase I h^e to groAA? ap. ^r^d ^tovo u 
b%t foecs>ase the AA?orlJ voor^'t AVs»it for poe. Ksy'foe I 
shoalciD't -vcs'it for the \^?orlci. 


"He and I Are One" 

■ J'/i('/f /ji/ ■J'r/f'/- ■ /{/III/' 

The sun beats upon my back 
His rolling gait rocks to a rhythm. 
The three beats made produce a song, 
Following the beat of my heart. 

The tall grasses whisk past his long strong step, 
Blowing in the wind carelessly. 
The smell of flowers caresses through his soft mane, 
And I can smell the sweet scent of sweat and dirt. 

The muscles roll on his shoulders and back, 

An animal of great power and grace. 

He looks like a quick shadow on the backdrop of the canopy, 

You would never see him if not for his white lightning bolt streaking his face, 

A shadow of mine with souls intertwined. 

He and I are one. 



'jfor ©ou' 

3 Ijolti out mp lianb for I'ou 

Snsitip it 3 I)olti notbins 

3 Italic notlnng to gilic roii 

ilaut nil' ciiipti' liant) 

jFor von to rest I'oiir lianti m 

;3nb 3 to close lup fingers roiinti pours 

^0 ti)c gaps betluecn tlicni 

3rc no longer lonclp ant) cniptp 

tCo feel that toarmti) cnljclopc 

clnti the outsitic luorlb melts aUiap 

{Dlic Iiaic biins lolu like tlje entiing sun 

3 toill be Ijere till tl)c cnbs of the earth 

il)oltiing niP hanb out for pou 

3nsit)e holliing nothing 

jFor POU to rest poiir iianli m. 



Life's Fm[[ of Comers 

Life is [ife a cit\). 

Around eacly corner \)om'[[ fiw5 someUjmg different. 

Arounb one corner y)ou mig(?t fii45 l^apjmess anb love. 

Around anoti^er you migU fin5 sadness and despair. 

Stiff, y)et around anolijer \)0U mig^Jt \\nd conf Msion. 

But no mailer w{)\cl) corner you parlake of 

Kemember not to (oo^ too far mjeab. 

jMst [yve \n liyal one moment and... 


-Renee McManws 


Josh Righter 

a positive aspect of negative thinking 

he walks towards 


in the rain. 

She is hidden by the 

huddled masses 


lower levels of 

city skyline 

but all the grey cannot conceal 


she walks towards 


in the rain. 

He is hidden by the 

despondent faces 


lower levels of 

emotional being 

but all the despair cannot conceal 


through the sea 


meet amongst the universe 

and for a 


It bends to their will. 

Bed Monster 

Nighty night, beddy bye, time to sleep, close youi- eyes 
All is d^f-k, 3II is sound, 3II is still, yet 3II is ground.... 

1 be^t- the fgn, it turns gnd tut-ns 

Radio's on, the music chut-ns 

It's still too quiet, too quiet to sleep 

The t-oom gets bigger, the 49f'l< nioi-e 4eep. 

Head's on g swivel, t-otating speed 

Is now i-eal. Of is it just me 

'm scgt-ed, I'm scat-ed, the light, the light 

cannot i-each, something's moving t-ight. 

'm scared to move, don't know what to do 

You're always helpless when it's only you. 

It's gF-abbing me now, it won't let go 
It's hurting me now, df'agging me below 
Help! Anybody! I'm scared! I'm scared! 

I can see its eyes, its di'eadful stare. 

Its teeth are dfipping i-ank blood and spit 

And oh, its breath, 1 can't stand it. 

It's got my leg and is taking me down 

I fall fast haf-d, head hits the gi-ound- 

I sit up fast to see what's moving fight 

when all the time, the room had light. 

'Casey Donovan- 

^^KKmnaA 6w dl^Qt ^^ieSel 

My Mound 

I am alone, here on my mound. 

I sit on this desolate piece of earth. 

My mound is surrounded by a whirlwind. 

In the eye I am safe, though not from myself 

One step toward the swirling wall brings chaos, anger, sorrow, and above all: 

The World 

The dry ground is replenished by my ever flowing tears. 

A drop turns into a puddle, pool, and a pond. 

Soon, a raging river as swift as the swirling horror runs on my mound. 

The tears continue to flow freely. 

I am the swirling whirlwind. 

Confiised and uncontrollable 

Spurred from the darkness within 

I am the river. 

Angry and fierce 

Spurred from the darkness within 

I am the mound. 

Hard and cold 

SpuiTcd from the darkness within 

I am all horror. 
SpuiTed from the world outside. 

-Michelle Neumann- 



Pass Me By' 

Don't you see, 

Don't you see uuhat you have done to me, 

Have you figured it out yet? 

Can you understand, 

Look deep 

And you will find all within, 

The love. 

The care, 

The want, 

I'm afraid, 

Can it be right, 

How many times will I let it just. 

Pass me by. 




"/lofo; /y.^v; ('AamM/ 

Lead Me 

I stare at the sky. 

Hoping to find a god. 

Who can lead me 

For I am the dove of peace. 

Sitting on the world's wire. 



Ahead the season's harvest frays. 

As I canter through the rows. 

My horse's step does not falter, 

I feel the beauty within him. 

Not Seen 

The windows are black. 
The house has closed its eyes. 
The white walls act like winter. 
Closing out the world. 




■ ^^IF» ■'•'W^""^ — 

i'J fii'/i/i/ir/ /)// ■ ///III- ^Ijniir ■ ^/rnirj 

Sparkling^ K ie^AAX^ a^id/ cv poefy drewmy 

Swcctked/ Cn/JeM)elled/ ceUophcvne^: 

A-^fiAre/ oceoA^^, HAn/ yfLoAnbe/ wheel/, 

Souring mountcuA^^r- etched/ in/ teuL, 

Kadiant Hew\/&n/yhcyney-g<>id/ ^,ecd/, 

Tree4r^tMJi4^MAyng-e^viercdd/, tuUpy glowing^ wiA\e/, 

Koiey cxMicaAtvx^ like/ pink/ valeritVne^ 

Set creatuyn/ a/-hhtvvvivier (>v v^riovw di\/iA\e/. 

Ue^aUtte^ alter i>v drcrwyy, warvw vnUt, 

Yet ytdt the^^ Vmwge/y per^rdt, 

The/ wwnd/y a/ vwxglc/ hypnxytiyyt. 

'Dr. Kcwen/ SchroAnm/- 

~AnnMarie Armenti 

Reflecting Retreat 

I cut through the unmarked part, O^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^hoe Outlet. 
I reach a slightly slanted cliff betwixt the ground and gushing water beneath my trembling feet . 
I lunge, timidly landing securely on a safe-haven; I leap carefully alongside my original bull's 
eye: the babbling brook. 

They soared together, fell together, creating spiked ripples in the moving stream together 

I harbored the bad and threw it away into the untamed water below, 

Each rock expressing a single sensation: friendship, rage, sadness, and youth. 

Each rock was thrown at different moments but they are all heading in the same direction. 

Unafraid of uttering secrets t 
Mist sprays up urging me to reled 
The babbling of the brook persisted} 
The movement of the water which adva? 
"" " ' Tell me now!) 

^won't spread what 

'Qter below 

thoughts flow free, resembling 

hut instead will move it 

^-^ — ^ — -Wi 

So many, 

I will continu^m^ms^ed td the backyard of my Ddd's di 

Ever will I COn^K/KSktS place of ^PrpniPo fr>r mnnv Inno hn 

Ever will I remember the wetter da 
ing upon my face as it forms new Wt 

I want you to stop for just one instant and think ofthe?. 
The jubilant water racing down the mourpninxidp vnrn^ 
of wind, the warm air surrounding your 
Do remember each moment, each tear an^ c«i,,i o„.»o.- 
Do remember your youth slowly turning and conforming to 

bluffs, smashing against 

fid vacation site 
oes of great value, 

I, now sixteen years old, have no one throwinl 
I stand-alone in a sprinkle of past memories of my three brat. 
I will be drawn back to this spot as the brook recommem^'^^ 
(Day and night I will remain in the same space for you i 
Perhaps this is how I hold onto my sanity, '■ 

For now I say so-long to New Hampshire; I say hello to 

i2/)j'mi'//M 61/ (fJara -i/Jc/i/ 

JeDDifer KcCsTthy 

WheD ^^^efQ gpirt, 

It's 3 J^rk. dmsfy Dight, 

'Sat -vvheD hs app^nt, 

lt'§ s* fcei'utiful Si^t. 

It's the vo§fmt\i he pl'o^?iGfe§, 

Md the light ths»t he gif e§ 

'fhi't PD^kes hto the res'SoD, 

fhs't e^?erythtog lit'es. 

WheD he's Sfoimi. 

I Cg»D't help htlt \l'3^Q fUD, 

ifl cfepeDcfi'ble Decessity, 
Hy lo^?e ^D^ TOy SUD. 

&(/t'jifa/a f>i/ &\f///> (^a»6oni 

(Qrcu/nti/im 6u (SSkc/ael ^de^^uqA/in 


'^^({j'/ori/ "/m/ C/)r. . %/,>, . ;/^/« 


Jennifer Loucks 

Excuse Me, While I Drown The World In My Tears 

Something was lost today. 
Society and families were destroyed. 
Everything you lived for is suddenly gone. 
There is no turning back. 

Something was lost today. 

A blanket of death covered the nation. 

The way you did everyday things has not changed. 

All your emotions hit at once like a freight train. 

Something was lost today. 

You can hear the slow ticking of time passing by. 
As you try to pick up the shattered pieces, 
they blow away like sand in the wind. 

Something was lost today. 

The innocence of children will never be seen by some 
Tears were set in stone, shock was imprinted on faces, 
trust was gone. 

Something was found today. 
Under the rubble, ashes, and bodies. 
It was the memories. 
It was PRIDE. 



Biammer on Jose phine 

Hammered, "enamored," he stammered. 

"Biammer on Josephine," he clamored on as best he'd seen. 

Hoist the sail, oh friends of mine, 

for morning, we'll make the battle fine." 

And loves sweet lost and hearts depart 
for wars we've won and those we start. 

Tis well we bid thee all farewell. 
For fury's rage, we're off to hell. 

Remember this, Joe. 
Remember our times. 
Victory tastes sweet, 
but remember the crimes. 

For it is to be true 
They say at the temple 
True to your life 
True to be simple. 

Biammer on Joe. 

I'm with you always 
Remember it as so, 
I'm with you, you know. 

- Sean Dallas- 


M^/W ^ CJ)>: ^m/a cXue/i/ 

•^^\"i^ '^ 

V'^ "^^i^SI 

1^ -• •^' 



m ' #'> 


i^ -''^^^^s^Sw^^'^S 

^'P?!. «r 

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^^^^^^I^KlHli^..^^3C^^^fey .^SSPS^^^^I 


■"•■■■■. JSt 

120 MPH 

David Moletdere 

A car is a car. It's a machine, a tough and rowdy roadster. It's a purebred steel animal readv to rip the 
asphalt, a gasoline-driven, bloodthirsty' monster. Some consider it a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands 
and a tragic accident waiting to happen. A car is an opportunity' to take to the road, see the world. It's a 
pathway into young adulthood, a place for young women to lav and often lose more than pocket change, a 
vehicle for picking up the attractive female, a symbol of a man's sexual prowess-the wav a man boosts his 
ego. It can be a trap for the latest criminal seconds after capture, a coffin-carrier, the leader in the proces- 
sion for the dead, a tool for conquering the impossible, even death- 

20 mph... 

Now wait a minute-a tool for conquering death? 

His last notion stardes Jason Keyser. He's driven the deep-red Mustang and won all the races. He still 
believed it foolish to staple that much faith to a machine, even this '97 'Stang with red exterior and interior, a 
purring V8 under the hood, ready to rumble to Life should anvone trv his engine against this All American 
Badboy. He smiles at the thought of smoking another BMW' or Mercedes. The 'Stang will have them for 

"They eat it and Like it," he whispers as he floors around the twent^'-five mile curve going weU over fort}-. 
Who's to teU him differendy? The cops? Guess again-they're too busy filling themselves on doughnuts. 

The radio pumps out bass-fiUed songs-heavy metal mixed with his singing that seems to fade beneath the 
heavy roar of the 'Stang. Lyrics and fuel are the only keys to success and survival on the streets. Moms 
keep the kids in tonight; Jason's on the town. No one survives the mess when he's around. 

"Deserted tonight. Abandoned streets. Where the heU'd everybody go?" 

He's roaring from the cit}' to the outskirts where the suburbs dwindle and fade into rural countryside, rolling 
hills of grass and trees, and abandoned farmhouses and tiny cottages. Jason drives Route 32 going towards 
Highway 90 into the downtown section of Ivyland Oaks. It's abandoned here too, another disquieting fact 
to this speed-hungry teenager who lusts deeply for a race. 

Down the road, away from Jason and his ravaging path, there's a four way stop. A little strange, but still 
remembered after the twent\'-five years it's waited there. It's the intersection of Route 32 and Bourbon 
Street, a street that has a speed Limit of fift\-. So, cars have to stop before re\-\-ing up the engine. 

40 mph... 

The four-way stop is a place of tragedy and accident, where young drivers ha\-e decided that to be late for 
the curfew is too much to bear for the extra five to ten seconds it takes to stop the car and then proceed to 
drag its engine back to speed. There have been eight deaths, not enough to bring about change, but enough 
to draw the attention and the suspicious eyes of the Woman's Club. Superstition is a practice conjured more 
from human unease and fright, and those old women are superstitious of this place. Teenagers died here, 
right past the stop sign that's just flashed in the aura of Jason's headlights as he zooms closer. They died in 
their cars, smashed to pieces by a force unseen. 

The first man had alcohol in his system. It was enough to drive his Toyota Corolla straight into the ditch, 
where it roUed twice and ended its poor existence with a dying gasp that might have sounded human it not 
for the screams of the fellow trapped inside. When they found him bled to death, it wasn't imagination that 
made the officers vomit. 


Two other women were going at a normal pace. Their brakes failed, another problem written off as a 
mechanical failure. A couple went headfirst into the side of an 1 8-wheeler while they were heading home. 
Crashed and burned, their hair was still charring as their corpses were pulled out in pieces. 

Jason's not going to stop. Time waits for no man, and he's a boy pressed for time and his life, and the life 
of his car. Simply because he's an hour and a half late for his one-thirt}^ curfew, and Ms mother and father 
are waiting for his sorry ass to return so that they can chew him out. The father wiU send the boy from the 
kitchen, hold him to the confines of his room for the next three weeks. No going out, no telephone, no 
car. That last one's enough to make the boy wilt. 

60 mph... 

A child's been killed there on a bike; another caught walking home and knocked off the road by someone. 
He had his head bashed in, neck broken-bloody, not right, and not peaceful. 

Residents say the devil dwells at the stop. An old man, a young woman, or something worse. Jason doesn't 
give a shit because getting home is pressing down on his shoulders and making everything else in life seem 

It's Devil's Crossing, said that he comes from the opposite way, comes to the cross and waits until they're 
not looking, then attacks with everything short of hell's wrath and fury. 

His brain registers DevU's Crossing as Jason nears it and he debates whether he should take his time-getting 
home in one piece is better than not getting home at all. But what about the speed, the lust, the yearning to 
have arrived home, only to find the parents asleep in bed? Let the adolescent be home, in bed, away from 
the dangerous eyes of mother and father. 

75 mph... 


Something makes him slam on the left pedal, sending the echo ot squealing rubber reverberating into the 
night. Jason isn't drunk or high or stupid. He hasn't touched a beer since June; weed is a harder item to 
place, too far-faded to remember. Nothing else carries importance, because there's the one thought that he 
must stop, quickl}', in front of the sign, lest he miss it at all. 

A Corvette idles in the other lane, engine low. The car's taiUights are on, a signal to Jason that the driver is 
in charge of his vehicle. The driver has perched himself in the path of approaching traffic. It's a fast 
machine prepared to romp and raze. 

The license plate says DEATH, a prett}' emblem on a dark and necromantic night such as this, seemingly 
impenetrable to Jason's deep, harsh gaze. Jason discovers that he's holding the wheel tight enough to make his 
fmgers ache, so he releases in a quick movement that's embarrassing. But there's no one around, save himself 
and this other, whose tinted -wdndows hinder Jason's view. 

But wait, where's the intelligence in this? The boy feels a lump in his tiiroat. Fear has taken form, and he tries 
to swallow the horror and pride. Now it's in his belly, rumbling and shaking him, shaking liis mind, disturbing 
his breathing, his vision. "Let it pass, before you go and do something stupid," he says to himself 

He does, thankfully. He'll leave it on the highway, behind him. 

"Race, shall we?" he asks himself and the rear view mirror as he checks to make sure no cops have ventured 
out this late. Only a few cops ever run this far out of the city; certainly none will wait at this intersection, 
fabled, famous, and dreaded for its location. The idling Corvette is enough of a hint that a cop hasn't 
passed in some time. 


The cars sit waiting next to the stop sign on Route 32. Jason is still uneasy with the enemy taking his time. 
The nervous boy rolls his window down with the touch of a button and waits for the other to do the same- 
only those with experience know that words must be exchanged beforehand. And the other is experienced, 
because he doesn't rip out into the lane, doesn't cut the bov away. 

The radio lets out a song about a deserted highway, ruling the roads with a shotgun in your right hand, luna- 
cy in the other. Jason will understand where sanit}' lingers and drifts away-watching it as it leaves him. It's 
already slipping away. 

"Want a race?" Jason throws it out like a piece of meat, waiting for the bait to be taken. He turns to this 
other fellow with the license plate reading DEATH. 

The blonde guy glances oxer the passenger seat. He is a man of many more years than this teenager. He is 
fort}' or later in years and he grins in a way that makes the boy remember his nightmares. Jason snickers at 
this face, doesn't find an answer to why it's bothering him, but doesn't care because he's going to forget it as 
soon as the Mustang roars past the Corvette. 

"Go till your engine dies," were the words that drifted to his ears, and the teenager turns to say something. 
Death's face is gone, hidden behind the tinted window. Jason is more disturbed than ever, racing a man with 
DEATH on his license plate. The race begins at the famous spot for teenage death and high incident that 
ends in horror, macabre. 

The dashboard digital says it's three-thirt\'. Time for a race, always time for a race when you're a teenager 
and driving a brand new car. Jason has no doubts about liis car or his abilit)'. The car and he can take this 
other without blinking twice, but he lingers on the edge of the stop sign waiting for a cue from God. One 
more race can't hurt a teenager, not when he's feeling tliis way-emotions built on the need for speed, ready 
to roll and burn. 



One roll of the engine, listen to its rage, readiness to serve its master. Listen to the way it's eager, almost 
going before Jason hits the gas. It's almost as if the animal within is ready to burst forth. It knows about 
the race, knows that this is for Jason's personal pride, and to lose is to be embarrassed and humiliated. He's 
not going to lose. 

"Get it on!" the 'Stang squeals, pulling out slowh', then jerking forward past the stop sign. The Corvette is 
right with him, a littie out in front, nose edging him by a few feet. 

"Come on, come on!" 

The blasting radio is suddenly cranked to its highest capacit}', tunes and rhythm surging from the speakers. 
The sound of the radio blacks out the noise of the rising engines, horrid squealing of rubber, and the hatred 
for losing. He's leaving it behind, watching it settle in the dust behind-forgotten. 

The 'Stang shifts gear, telling Jason that it's excited to be here and excited to entertain. Bringing itself to 
high speeds and drama, now neck and neck with Death, racing down Route 32, past the abandoned railroad 
station, watch it as it whizzes by. Jason's too concentrated on the road to pay the station any attention, only 
a passing sign that tells him he's moving, moving fast, letting it go past. In the blink of an eye it disappears 
over a quiet hiU-forgotten. 

They're on a straightaway, hissing and yelling cjut in the pumping of pistons and engines. Jason breaks 


ahead, little more than inches it seems, but it is there. Wonder what that other creep's doing in there-cursing 
him, watching, smiling at the insanity of the situation, screaming in frustration, yelling with exhilaration? 

"Go, you bitch, down in flames!" jason veils. 

100 mph...his speedometer reads, but it seems so much slower, moving through a thick sludge that drags 
down his 'Stang and keeps it from going at its best. The dash only goes to one hundred twent}'. He doesn't 
know how much higher the engine can go. 

Straightaway is gone in sixt)- seconds, leaving a winding road of trees and darkness. Jason happens to glance 
across the way, where he spots Death riding with the windows down, laughing, loving the rush as the two 
cars fly on, engines laughing with him as he drives with both hands out the window. He snarls at the boy, 
displaying horrible teeth-long, pointed, and sharp. Jason remembers the gruesome sight as he holds on. A 
soft curve bends him and the 'Stang to the right, but he-and the opposition-hold fast, tight, even. 

Below him, the speed's over one hundred ten miles an hour, drifting up to the one hundred twenty- mark. If 
the other's engine is too powerful, then watch and let it go. Oh, but the other is plapng with him, driving 
him crazy even though his car is probably doing the exact same thing, beginning to whine and shake at the 
tremendous effort. Finish line must be coming soon, or he fears a blowout. 

Lucky for him, the other hasn't taken advantage. The curve behind has drifted back into darkness, leaving 
more of the straight Route 32 ahead. Jason realizes that they are soon to converge onto Highway 90. Jason 
silentiy vows that if he makes it to Highway 90, he's going to ditch the race and leave Route 32, leaving this 
lunatic behind-forgotten. Jason feels like Ichabod Crane, the poor schoolteacher chased by the Headless 
Horseman. Jason suddenly visualizes an incredible, lit pumpkin head soaring across the way trying to knock 
him out of the 'Stang and abandon him, bleeding and dying on the pavement. He doesn't want to die on 
the highway-that's all that matters to this boy. Let the streets alone. 

Round another curve, this one sharper, his sweaty palms holding the wheel tighdy. Jason suddenly feels des- 
perate, starting to cry with an urge to yell and scream at Death as he rolls beside him, laughing, driving with 
his hands out the window, and pointing to Jason Keyset. Death curses him in ways that the boy can only 
imagine. Death yells above the winds that Jason's going to die tonight, that he'll never make it out of here 
aUve. The boy is a fool to race Death. He cannot escape because when Death is challenged, it is always 
prepared and always ready to deal the final, ultimate, killing blow. Jason screams. 

Death is driving without hands, watching Jason, keeping up with the boy so he can't get away. The Corvette 
matches the Mustang turn for mrn, waiting for a fatal mistake so Death can take advantage. But why does- 
n't he go ahead? Why doesn't he finish it? Because that is his style-even for this horrible entit}?, st)'le is a 
desired trait, and the monster knows how to end it in st^de. It's waiting for everyone, driving, walking, run- 
ning, soaring above the heavens. Tonight, it's come down from the clouds, descended to the realm of the 
living, and met Jason Keyset, who's never going to get away. 

"You are going to," Death says gritting his teeth, "make the fatal mistake, boy!" Jason doesn't break under 
pressure. He thinks of this as a challenge, as he watches the trees fly by. Trees that are silent observers in 
this dark performance, the only observers who will watch this mortal beat Death at his own game. 

Over the smaU bridge, past another intersection that's deserted... 

"Let go. I'll beat you!" he screams as the accelerator meets the floor, the car pushing forward past the reach 
of the other, past its icy cold fingers. Jason's crying, understanding that he's going to die if he's not careful. 

120 mph. . .the engine's peaked, refusing to go any fiirther. Yet the boy's tears dribble over the wheel and 
seem to give it new life, keeping it at its rapid pace. Slowly, it moves up the scale. 


121. ..122. ..123. ..oh please, let him reach 125, then, God, make him be gone! 

It's too high for the engine that wants to quit, rest from this sudden strain. Jason wants to rest, though rest is 
impossible when Death waits for your wrong turn of the wheel. 

Above him, there is a flash of blue and green-the sign indicating Highway 90 is only a half-mile ahead. The 
sign goes by in a flurry of color that's dizzying. Only thirt)' seconds and life will be saved, Death will be 
gone, and safet\' will be found. 

The other must be reading his mind, because it has caught up with him. Death pilots in his cockpit, shaking 
his head to say, "No, Jason, you're not getting away that easily." 

Jason rules the streets, or so he thinks. 

120 mph... 

The speed drops, as the car still hangs on, unforgiving. The engine can't hold out much longer, but it's sworn 
to give the driver the ride of his life. It has sworn to protect and serve, to die in a fit of burning rubber and 
steel. It's slowly dwindling on a burnout as Jason hears its soft aches and moans. 

"Oh, please, baby. Please, stay with me. Don't stop on me! Not now!" 

It gives him a flurry of pumping and acceleration, enough to get him to the exit, enough to brake it hard but 
easily, with room enough to puU the wheel to the right. Death is left behind on Route 32, fljing past in its 
midnight carriage. Jason imagines Death's frustration as he holds on to the steering wheel. Jason is pra)ing 
to God to get him safely through the exit turn. 

He makes it. Thinking of Death and its anger, Jason laughs. The radio is blaring at him-drive faster, drive 

But Death isn't snarling or throwing a fit. It drives on, fueled by the immortal fires of his centurj'-worn 
engine underneath the hood of his Corvette-the vehicle of death and destruction. Death will never lose, 
even after all this time. 

And Jason meets him head on, in the form of a broken-down Corvette, blocking the ramp to Highway 90. 
Jason sees the screaming, grinning skull just as his 'Stang smashes into the front grill. He thinks he can see 
Death in the driver's seat, waiting. Cheater took a shortcut, was waiting aU the time. Luck\- for Jason, the 
seat belt brings instantaneous death. 

Jason realized he'd never make it home, never make it to his next birthday. He'll never rule the road, never 
cruise in his 'Stang, lovely 'Stang, from which he claimed his tide and dreamed to be: 

King of the Road 

He knows it all. Death is King of the Road, the only King. 

120 plummets to in the flash of a second. 



When drinking from the cup 
of life, don't sip politely; 
rather let it flow over 
your chin and down 
your chest. 

Consciousness needs a proper 
drenching to avoid the 
wilt and shrivel... 

Smear the water from 
your face with your sleeve 
and continue on your 

Young Park 


Mark Schmidt 

The Finest Elixir For Life 

An old proverb commented that a life without self-examination is not 
worth living. It brings to light a few abstract suggestions. What's 
superficial? What causes fulfillment or well-being for the individual? 
What doesn't? Throughout American history a repetitive cultural element 
has surfaced advocating a less complex, less complicated, and less preten- 
tious existence; in short, a simple life. Puritans and Quakers advocated 
this sort of reality, perhaps to a radical extreme. But, the concept, nev- 
ertheless, can be applied in a more modern view by encouraging a less 
extreme and a more relaxed life style, without going overboard. The simple 
life seeks plainness rather than embellishment. At its heart there is 
self-imposed personal evaluation and deliberate prioritization of meaningful 
ideals or values. Additionally, simplicity can be considered an individual 
state of mind, one that particularly distinguishes between need and want, 
consequently, looking less favorable upon materialism and avarice. 

Simplicity itself was the subject of examination in an article titled, 
"The Simple Life," by David E. Shi. He remarks that the somewhat abstract 
topic is a smattering of concepts rather than a mere unidirectional pur- 
suit. The simple life, he comments, " [ I ] nclude [s] a concern for family 
nurture and community cohesion; a hostility toward luxury and a suspicion 
of riches; a belief that the primary reward of work should be well-being 
rather than money; a desire for maximum personal self reliance and creative 
leisure; [...] [and] a taste for the plain and functional, especially in the 
home [...]" (512). Primarily, these values have been, and will continue to 
be, molded to the individual, in different degrees and fashions. 
Simplicity is not a subject that uses an equation; rather, it provides an 
avenue for self-application of what a person holds dear. Shi points out, 
"[T]he core assumption is that the making of money and accumulation of 
things should not compromise the purity of the soul, the life of the mind, 
[and] the cohesion of the family [...] " (513) Material moderation is the 
key. Evaluating what is needed versus what is not. Shi believes, in this 
way, everyday people can recapture their will of action by removing "faulty 
desires and extraneous activities and possessions" (514). It seems evident 
down home values are advocated here: "family, faith, civic and social serv- 
ice, [...] creativity, and self-culture" (516) . He concludes with the indi- 
cation that those who choose to lead an externally simple and internally 
fulfilling lifestyle "discover that pressures are reduced, the frenetic 
pace of life is slowed, and daily epiphanies are better appreciated" (516) . 
Shi's argument is a perfect springboard to continue examining the fine sub- 
ject . 

People, throughout history, have seemed to be labeled as falling into 
two groups: those that have and those that do not. In some sense, this 
dichotomy can be applied to physical attributes concerning sufficient con- 
sumption and adequate worldly needs. But it also can separate those shack- 
led by everyday psychological burdens. Some are free from stress, carrying 
peace of mind, and inner harmony, perhaps representing those that have. 
Others are imprisoned by the everyday rat race, continuously shuffling 
about in a monotonous cycle, mired in a seemingly awful world of competi- 
tion and outward judgment. Those leading this unsatisfying trend may hold 
plenty in the form of material, but little in the form of peace and con- 
tentment; and this, to a degree, embodying those that do not have. In this 
regard, a difference can be established between having in one sense versus 

another, peace of mind and appreciation versus retaining complexity and 
worldly goods . 

An article written by Barbara Brandt titled, "Less is More, " suggests 
several interesting points considering overwork, a major concern for those 
stress-laden and devoid of contentment. Brandt comments upon the obvious 
effects of a more laid-back and less intense life, essentially more simple. 
She contends, "[Many Americans are] trying to squeeze more into each day 
while having less to show for it. [B] oth women and men-are spending too 
much time at work, to the detriment of their homes, their families, their 
personal lives, and their communities" (191) . The popular outlook seems to 
disregard the wholesome and intrinsically fulfilling aspects of what life 
offers. More, more, more, one might argue, is the passion of many in a 
vocation hauling in large sums of monetary gain. She further argues, "The 
work ethic fosters the widely held belief that people's work is their most 
important activity and that people who do not work long and hard are lazy, 
unproductive, and worthless. [P]aid work is not just a way to make money 
but a crucial source of [...] self-worth" (193) . Though work is an important 
part of living, it is not and shouldn't be considered the sole purpose of 
existence. Viewing work, or any occupation, with such intensity, in order 
to keep ahead or maintain status quo, may lead to burn-out. True self-worth 
cannot be measured through numbers and figures, as the work world suggests. 
Once a person steps away from this busied life of hustle and bustle he may 
accept "the possibility that shorter work hours and more free time could 
enable [him] to do much of the necessary rebuilding and healing, with much 
more gratifying and longer lasting results" (194) . Just step back and 
assess that which is meaningful and adds to rewarding satisfaction. Perhaps 
the simple life's suggestion of a more relaxed and individually prioritized 
outlook is just what the doctor ordered. 

Primarily, there should be personal reevaluation of everyday circum- 
stances; if an individual is caught is such a trend. A trade-off must be 
dealt with; gain in the world of money and material, disregarding aspects 
that are personally dear; or, possibly put the more important parts of life 
first. In the end, really, what does it matter how many trophies were 
racked up or deals closed? Were there family times missed or moments of 
help and service overlooked due to over-extended work times and mis-priori- 

American culture seems to be permeated by an ideal that seeks over- 
consumption and materialistic ends. This, among others, is just the point 
argued by Alan Durning in his article, "Asking How Much Is Enough." He 
maintains, "[T]he ability of the earth to support billions of human beings 
depends on whether we continue to equate consumption with fulfillment" 
(434). It appears, the more an individual receives, in modern culture, 
that much more is desired. People demand respect from others by consuming 
the latest and greatest good. The point to be taken from this argument is 
not to arrive at a depriving end, simply one seeking trimming and cutting 
back, where possible, for a little economy rather than gluttony. There is 
no need to move toward unsatisfactory and unpleasant conditions. Certainly, 
there is more available in life than the want to consume resources, more 
than just money and materials. Indeed, Durning insists, "The main determi- 
nants of happiness in life are not related to consumption at all: prominent 
among them are satisfaction with family life, [...] with work, leisure, and 
friendships" (436) . Durning additionally pointed to a comment made by a 
Wall Street banker when he said, "Net worth equals self-worth" (qtd. in 
Durning 436) . Perhaps that banker was on the right track. Many people seem 
to be entangled in their need to keep up with the latest and greatest, showy 


commodities. Though improvement and advancement are important, reevaluate 
subscribing to the latest rage. Materialism dilutes the happiness discov- 
ered in simple interactions by imposing extravagance. A Japanese student 
commented, "We never have time to find ourselves, or what we should seek in 
life" (qtd. in Durning 432) . Maybe simple living and simple consumption, 
favoring a little more plainness, is the call here. 

Finally, Caverly Stringer, through his article, "Confessions of an 
Urban Outlaw," suggests the intrinsic goodness of a clear mind. He writes 
from the viewpoint of a homeless man subjugated by the external filth of 
street life; however, liberated from materialism, greed, and the so-called 
rat race in order to elevate himself to a greater plane of self-examination. 
He describes, showing rather than telling, the greatness of purging the mind 
of the unnecessary; essentially, a psychological cleansing. Stringer 
writes, "The fact is, people everywhere seek a purge, a cleansing, an 
uncluttered perspective. The problem is that loud voices have persuaded us 
to cease considering human complexities and, for the sake of smooth com- 
merce, to follow more confined and predictable pursuits. Commodities, com- 
petition-by such things does conventional wisdom measure the quality of 
life" (485) . He observes the life of the fast lane, particularly bringing 
to mind yuppies and those involved in the corporate sector. There is plenty 
of work going on, but no one is moving comparatively ahead in personally 
fulfilling areas of life. In essence, these people are moving down dead-end 
alleys. Stringer argues, they continue striving to keep up with the latest 
and greatest fads for no other purpose than to admit looking good. Though 
Stringer writes from a relatively radical perspective, his point concerning 
stepping back and reevaluating what's personally meaningful, possibly seek- 
ing a purge, is a good moral supporting a simple life. There is a differ- 
ence between need and want, an observation that strikes at unnecessary 
everyday event-oriented complexity. 

The simple life by nature is an individual concept. It originates not 
from popular culture or fashionable wear, but merely from a personally well- 
ordered life, rejecting superficiality. By focusing on the more wholesome 
parts of life-family, community, and religion-one might find even greater 
satisfaction in life. Simplicity is only a suggestion, one that creates a 
balance or equilibrium of moderation, which favors plainness rather than 
embellishment. David Shi says it well, "Simplicity in its essence demands 
neither a vow of poverty nor a life of rural homesteading. Money or posses- 
sions or activities in themselves do not corrupt simplicity, but the love of 
money, the craving for possessions, the lure of conformity, and the prison 
of activities do" (She 515) . Life can be looked upon as black or white, but 
usually it forces an individual to consider a thousand shades of gray. So 
too does the application of simplicity. It must be individually customized, 
representing values personally held in high regard. Simplicity comes from 
what you may think is right; not what popular opinion dictates. It's you 
decision to turn right or left at all the figurative intersections of life. 
What do you believe is superficial? What do you believe will be fulfilling 
or provide well-being? What do you believe will not? Big Brother isn't 
there to direct the perfect route. No, it's definitely your decision. 

Works Cited 

Brandt, Barbara. ' "Less is More." Making Choices: Reading Issues in Context. Eds. 
Michael Cooley and Katherine Powell. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1997. 191-198 

Durning, Alan. "Asking How Much Is Enough." Making Choices: Reading Issues in Context. 
Eds. Michael Cooley and Katherine Powell. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1997. 430-438 

Shi, David. "The Simple Life." Making Choices: Reading Issues in Context. Eds. Michael 
Cooley and Katherine Powell. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1997. 512-516 

Stringer, Caverly. "Confessions of an Urban Outlaw." Making Choices: Reading Issues in 
Context. Eds. Michael Cooley and Katherine Powell. New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 

1997. 481-485 


•|- — murf^'^liiiW 

Q/jraiiiina 6u (^ara Jue///i 


fM^/, 0e/,oo/ 




The English department is very happy 

To have sponsored its sixth 

High school writing competition, 

Which was designed to showcase the 

Work of young writers in the area. 

We are amazed at the talent, sensitivity. 

And ear for language in their 

Poetry and prose. 

Our thanks and congratulations 

Go to them, their families, and. 

Of course, their English teachers! 



Tfie zve-atHered paCm tremSCe-d there, 

resting fieaviCy on a Sony, diist-caf^^d Iqiee. 

I gCinvpsed it as I passed 

out of the comer of my eye- 

and I froze 

on the crumbling steps 

outside the church of Santiago de Compostela, 

leaving my laughter lingering there half-heartedly 

in the languid summer air. 

'M.y gaze followed the deep crevices 

that lined the ancient, gnarled hand 

snaking through the parched flesh 

like tributaries of a tiny river. 

'Ihe knotted fingers e7(tended and curled 

slowly, weakly, 

with tremulous hope. 

I felt the cavernous eyes bmning through me, 

and I lowered my head, 


or unable 

to meet the glazed stare. 

They swallowed me 

into their infinite darkness, 

and I ached for the soul 

behind those milky eyes. 

emerging zvith apitifil heap of dull "Euros 

that I quickly, averting my gaze, 

dropped in the callused palm. 

she observed me in wary approval 

as her brittle lips 

parted slightly 

and a single word escaped 

riding on the crest of her breath as she e^fialed weakly- 

"Qracias. . . " 

My eyes locked with hers, 

for an instant, 

and in English LAURA BENNETT 

and Spanish The Baldwin School 

/ smiled. Ms. Beth Cope 


Seven Million Rules 

The alarm clock exploded before George knew he was asleep, just as it had every 
weekday for the last four months. Such an early time was deemed necessar\' by the school 
board to prevent any public high-school student in the count}' from getting adequate sleep. 
The teachers did their part to assist the school board by assigning as many simultaneous 
projects as humanly possible, thus assuring their students would remain awake until the 
late-night movies were over. George blindly located the alarm and disabled it. 

George navigated to the bathroom utilizing the walls as a guide, for it was even 
darker now than it was when he fell asleep. After showering, he dressed and descended into 
the abyss downstairs to eat whatever he could to sustain him until his eleven-fifteen lunch. 
Despite wakening before the roosters crowed, George found, as always, that he was unable 
to finish his Bran Flakes if he wanted to catch the bus. He didn't really want to catch the 
bus; it was crowded and dark, but worst of aU was the final destination. His only motiva- 
tion was the possible punishment he might receive from the all-powerful Superintendent. 
He departed into the desolation of the predawn morning, hands in pockets, and turned 
south towards the bus stop. 

The taxi-cab yellow school bus roared up the hill, awakening all those still asleep 
with its unmuffled sound. The bus driver found amusement in jabbing the gas and the 
brake as the children tried to climb aboard, then watching them tumble off the steps. The 
casualty count was low today. 

The imposing gray fortress loomed ominously as the bus arrived at school. As he 
crossed the threshold that separated freedom from formalized education, he was knocked 
back by the presence of thirt\'-year-old uncirculated air. George tried again, this time with a 
running start, and forced himself into the narrow hallway that led to his locker. One must 
possess the flexibility of a contortionist to squeeze through the teeming mass of people 
and backpacks in the hallways of George's school. George was not a contortionist, and he 
had much difficulty in arriving an\?where on time. He pushed and twisted and squirmed, 
fighting the mob all the way. 

Starting several weeks ago, construction began on a new system intended to start 
circulating the stale air. The plan was to tear out the windows in the school and leave the 
holes open. This could provide cheap air conditioning in winter and affordable heat in 
summer. Unfortunately the school had few windows to remove, but nobody in upper man- 
agement realized this and the project continued as planned. Removing one window necessi- 
tated closing down the entire floor, so George was often forced to take circuitous routes to 
his classes. He made it to first period by traveling outside, up a ladder, through an open 
window on the third floor, across the building and back down to the second floor \ia a 
fireman pole. 

Today's assignment in science class was a typical one: they had to slow down the 
speed or light, and they had to do it by tomorrow morning. No sleep tonight! In geometry 
they had to prove the impossible; the test on it would be next week. The teacher, refusing 
to speak English, insisted on using an incomprehensible vocabulary that only geometry 

teachers understand. George did not like geometry. 

Third period meant Physical Education time. Since George was not an omnipotent 
twelfth grader, he had no choice in the activit}' that he participated in. Along with all the 
underclassmen, he was forced into to the dreaded stretching class. The goal of the class was 
to stretch each muscle until it was long and thin like spaghetti. It lasted fort^' minutes a day 
for nine weeks; after that George would be sent to another equally painful activity?. If you 
passed the flexibiHtv test class, however, you could maneuver through the hallways so easily 
that 3?ou might think they were almost big enough. Almost. 

Gym was followed by lunch. Lunch was the best time of day, since it was the only 
time George could eat a hamburger and not get in trouble for it. Eating hamburgers in 
geometry was strictiy forbidden; punishment consisted of a hundred extra proofs for 
homework. He could also drink something that was healthy and tasted good; such adjec- 
tives were not applicable to the school water fountains. 

Lunch preceded English and a pop blue-book quiz on analysis of a book he forgot 
to read last night. Last week's lesson was comma usage; therefore, fift}^ points could be 
earned by accurate and insightful analysis and one thousand points were attributed to cor- 
rect comma usage. George fiUed four pages without using any commas, for fear of violating 
one of the seven million usage rules. Unfortunately, one of those seven millions rules states 
that every proper blue book analysis must contain commas, and George failed. 

In Social Studies each student presented their report about a member of the 
Kennedy Family. No two students had the same person, but they all had the same stories to 
tell. George feU asleep just after the twelfth reiteration, and he received a detention. During 
detention he wanted to fall asleep, but his Social Studies teacher threatened to give him 
another detention if he did so. George stayed awake and caught the five o'clock bus home. 

"How can anyone possibly slow the speed of light?" he asked his friend Bryan. They 
were on the way home from the bus stop. Bryan told him that it was physically impossible, 
and that it was just a waste of time. George agreed, but homework was homework and it 
must be done. 

George arrived at his house and retreated to the solitariness of his room. He man- 
aged to complete his math work before dinner was served, and read his daily quota of 
pages in his novel. He still had to slow down the speed of light for science; however, it 
would take him well past my bedtime, and I must get my rest. 


Council Rock High School North 

Mrs. Hall 



Sometimes I feel like there is nothing holding me down. 

The wind is my best friend. 

The ropes that bind my spirit have separated into thread. 

The knots in my mind have slipped out and I'm finally clear. 

The cloth that covers my mouth is removed and I can speak openly. 

Just as I feel this way I look up to try to fly 





The wind is gone, 

The ropes have returned, 

I can't think straight, 

the words are silenced. 





Council Rock High School North 

Mrs. Hall 

G)it^MV<i. in a o-oclT 

a)no\!e3 -to i-rie. nock, 

XJJeJriina anxi/i/KXlna eufia one attviUtvo, locca 

tJjc<xutiuu, fe/U/t no baueAA 

LyuK^tca. mino. inXeA/zM, 

JlCXa-tatcen Iqi invp^/tlcotioiv 

GJa2c3 ci-^ea. ^ecall paal onlQaloe/iA 

T'u3cpe3 OA nfi<i3e3 incncina 

oLma. a iv<itiwxil luice, 

LAa,tV(xc3 to L-OAnvo colo'M 

Gyto\Cfi^e3 S^eaa. Ui3e3 bu laucu oi ^lut 

Llltcic<? to ticn3u tttatcj. 

G)ittina, in a apaitclina qlaja c<xac 



tnc icjt 

Jximpc3, painted, anc poiijJvcd 
G)a/MUAnc^ bu pct|v:ctioii 

Cc tlicu con 
a 04>aiitiliu 


Council Rock High School North 

Mrs. Hall 


Used and Alone 

The existence I led before she came was a lonely one, and I can't say I was ever 
truly awake. It seemed that I was always sleeping, and I never really felt connected 
with the rest of the world. From the first bit of memory I have, I can remember that 
they never really showed me any love or respect. Not once did they show any concern 
for what I wanted, I guess they already knew what I needed. Nobody would tell me 
what was to happen next, for I was always kept in the dark. I was never allowed to do 
anything on my own; they never gave me a chance. However, though them I soon 
gained a vast amount of information of this world, and all the things in it. I was in 
peak condition for that time, and I had the capabilities to do things many others could- 
n't. But possessing great ability coupled with vast knowledge is nothing if one is lonely. 
Eventually "those that knew best" sent me off to stay at a rather lofty place in northern 
California; that's where I met her. 

It seems like only yesterday when she opened my gateway to life. She brought 
me home with her that fateful day and gave me a nicer place to rest. Her house was 
large, open, and right off the coast. So sometimes if it was quiet and you listened close- 
ly, you could hear the Pacific. This soothing atmosphere was a much needed change 
from the hustle and bustle of the downtown San Diego area. 

At first it seemed like our relationship was to be strictly platonic, and at first it 
was. In the beginning, it was more of a S3rmbiotic relationship than anything else. She 
gave me a place to stay, and made me feel useful, while I helped out around the house. 
However, our mutual helping relationship quickly grew into a game of cat and mouse. I 
started to notice some sparks fly here and there. But soon she found exactly the right 
buttons to push, and, if you pardon the cliche, she really turned me on! We started 
spending a lot of time together, and ended up living together for two years or so. 
During this time we explored the world together. She took me surfing for the first time, 
an experience which I enjoyed greatly, and was finally able to utilize those abilities 
instilled in me when I was so young. We also went driving together frequently on the 
I.S. Highway near her southern California residence. 

During the day, while she was out, I would gather the mail and help organize 
her files. With my help she was able to do things she never thought possible, and for 
once I felt accepted and loved. She took me places I never knew I could go, and she 
even trusted me enough to help pick out her clothes, a rather touchy subject for 
women. However, like all good things, this eventually came to an end. After a while, I 
noticed that our time together grew steadily shorter. I started to observe her irritation 
with me frequently surfacing, and her temper shorten by the day. She started saying 
that I wasn't good enough for her anymore, and that she'd used up all of my resources. 
I began to feel that whatever little time we had spent together was just so she could get 
what she wanted; I felt, in a word, used. 

Then one day, the dreaded finally happened. From the very beginning of the day, 
everything seemed amiss. She left early one Saturday morning, she usually stayed 
home on the weekend, and I waited for her return. The whole place just had a bad feel- 
ing about it, a cold and isolated feeling that I hadn't felt since my early days. I couldn't 
help delete the feeling that today was going to hurt. I thought to myself that maybe 
she'd come home and everything would be just fine, or maybe she just needed some 
time to herself. But I knew what was to happen, and I knew it was the end. That's 
when she came home. She walked in with a box, one that looked oddly familiar, covered 
in cow-prints. I knew at once my greatest fear had been realized, and my time with her 
was finished. Never more would she surf with me, and never more would I gather her 
mail. For this wretched new model, which was soon taken from its box, had more mem- 
ory, more RAM, a faster processor, and a sleeker, more modern-trimmed design. It was 
only a matter of minutes before the connections were made, and buttons pressed, and 
the new machine was up and running. It was also not long before I was disconnected, 
cast aside, and once again... lonely. 


Council Rock High School North 

Mrs. Hail 


The Impatient and the Wise 

Quickly quickly quickly 
Hurries the scientist to his lab, 
Missing the meteor shower 
He anticipated for so long. 

Faster faster faster 
Urges the young mother, 
Missing her baby's first step 
Which she was waiting for so long. 

Rush rush rush 

Hollers the businessman to his meeting. 
Missing the crucial notes he wrote 
To seal the deal he wanted for so long. 

Move it move it move it 
Mutters the driver under his breath. 
Making a wrong turn from his destination 
He had been traveling to so long. 

Steady, steady, steady 
Says the small bird's patient father. 
Whose son is learning how to fly 
A part of life he'll need for so long. 

Slow, slow, slow 

Reminds the bee to his friends. 

The hive is very fragile 

They have been building for so long. 

Pace, pace, pace 

Thinks the snail to himself. 

Traveling down a path 

He had been voyaging for so long. 

Gently, gently, gently 

The beaver chews in concentration. 

To piece together her dam 

She had been working on so long. 

Success, success, success 
The kingdom cheers out together^ 
The animals have all achieved 
Everything they desired for so long. 

Curse curse curse 

The people shout with rage, 

All in too much of a rush 

To fulfill their dreams they had so long 


Council Rock High School North 

Mrs. Hall 


An Unending Trip of Guilt 

I always cry at funerals. Even when it's someone that I barely even knew, a great-great- 
aunt or a third cousin twice removed, there's something so horribly saddening and humbling 
about making your way through a room filled with somber faced people watching the tears well 
up in their eyes. And on this occasion the dearly departed was someone so near and dear to me 
that I felt as though a piece or my soul had been ripped out, and from the night that I heard the 
truth I wandered around in a stupor for days. For it was I who had been driving that night, that 
night that my friends entmsted their lives into my hands. It was all my fault. 

Whenever someone walks into a fiineral, you can hear the whole room come to a stand- 
still, the mumbled conversation is stilled, and everyone turns to see who is walking in the door. 
Is it the mother, sobbing, dabbing at her eyes with a handkerchief? Maybe it's her sister, still so 
young, looking so composed, and yet you can still see the grief that will only show itself in the 
quiet dark of her bedroom. No, the girls walking in are not family. The realization dawns on 
everyone as Jenna, Katie and I enter the room. 

'These are her friends,' they whisper to each other, taking in the scratches and the casts, 
'the ones in the car with her, the ones who survived.' Their stares are harsh and judgmental and I 
try to conceal myself behind my friends to avoid their unforgiving eyes. I know it's my fault. I 
don't need them to remind me. 

I can still see her, Madeline, my best friend since grade school, the one whose life I 
destroyed that dreadful night. We had all been so happy, singing along to songs on the radio, 
laughing, gossiping, enjoying life. She had been so animated then, more so than usual, her eyes 
flashing with laughter, and her beautifiil voice carrying throughout the car Singing was her pas- 
sion and we all knew that she'd someday make it to Broadway, to grace the stage with her pres- 
ence and wow the audience with her song. It was I who shattered that dream into a million 
pieces and cast them to the wind, where they lay scattered on the asphalt amidst the fragments 
of broken windshield and twisted metal. 

I try to wrench my mind away from that awful night in which my life came tumbling 
down and instead focus on the people sitting around us. Nearby sit a few of our teachers from 
school, wiping tears from their eyes and whispering amongst themselves in that hushed tone 
reserved for funerals, and at the mention of my name, I strain my ears to catch the rest of their 

"So, it was Melissa's fault then," says Mr. Mitchell, the chorale director. 

"It seems so, apparently she was driving, hit a patch or ice and lost control of the car It 
spun out and into the path of an oncoming tractor trailer. It's a wonder the other girls survived," 
contributes Mrs. Smith, my English teacher, amidst sniffles. "It's a shame, she was such a terrif- 
ic person." 

My eyes blur over with tears. I can see it all in my head; the rain, the trees, the wind- 
shield wipers, the guardrail, everything except for the small patch of ice still left over from last 
week's snow. 1 felt the slip, overcompensated. saw the headlights of the tractor trailer and 
amidst the horrified screams of my friends and the blaring of the horn of the truck. I could still 
hear the radio, playing on and on as if nothing was going wrong. As if that patch of ice had 
melted like all the rest of the snow, as if we were still dri\inc. lauuhine. carefree, singing along 


to the radio as we always had. I hit the ice and ruined the Hfe of my best friend MadeUne, cast- 
ing her into a coma in which there is httle hope of her awakening. 

The sound of the organ jolts me from my nightmare and 1 look up to see the procession 
as it makes its way down the aisle. Father Davis at its head, then my mother, father and sister, 
all with their heads bowed and wet cheeks. I wish desperately to tell them how sorry I am for 
all the grief that I caused them, and that if I could take it all back I would in a heartbeat. But no 
wishes or promises will raise the body out of the casket that follows them, the casket that holds 
all that is left of the girl that I once was and of so long to be again. I hear someone near me 
begin to cry, and in front of me, Mrs. Smith blows her nose and dabs her eyes with a lace hand- 
kerchief. My head begins to spin. I cannot stay, I cannot watch this. Clinging to remnants of my 
life will not bring me back. I flee, unnoticed, from the church, and run as fast as I can, no desti- 
nation, nowhere to go. 


Council Rock High School North 

Mrs. Hall 


Paper Trail 

Papers are obstinate- 
Sulking and only 
Grudgingly complying 
To pleas to rearrange 
Themselves in proper order 

Indeed, they seem to grow 
Little paper-cut feet 
And tip-toe silently 
Across the glass-topped 
Coffee table only to 
Stapled Geronimo whisking 
Neat, complying- smirking... 
Into the wrong binder 

Mind you- don't shout, or rant. 

Or even admonish 

These...pieces of work... 

They carry their grudges forever- 

Or at least until they scrawl upon themselves- 

"Late work." 

She Rolls Her Booty 

(A Parody of 

"She Walks in Beauty" 

by George Gordon, Lord Byron) 

She rolls her booty like the might 

Of massive animals and portly pies; 
And all that's best of fat delight 
Meet in her aspect and her thighs: 
Weary of futile dietary fight, 
Obviously lacking exercise. 

One pound the more, one gram the less, 

Had half impair'd the nameless grace 
Of how she eats with true finesse 

The pumpkin pie that bloats her face; 
Where folds serenely sweet express 

Cakes and French fries consumed 

Around that waist, and o'er that bow. 
So stout, so ample, yet buoyant, 

The triple chin, the cheeks that grow. 
But tell of days in gorging spent, 
A mind at war with all below, 
A gut whose greed is infinite! 


Council Rock High School North 
Mrs. Hall 

The American Academy 
Dr. Sharon Traver 


Growing Up With Russy 

A dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice: Russy, my 89-year- 
old babysitter. Russy is an eternal figure, unchanged by time, undaunted by whatever 
hardships are thrown her way. Who else would have-could have- undertaken and sur- 
vived a grueling fifteen years chasing after my brothers and me? Most would have 
been struck with horror at three active boys and a girl, but not Russy: this was literally 
"kid's stuff" for her. 

Russy is everyone's ideal grandmother, the one who looks at home with a child 
curled up in her lap, the one with whom you bake chocolate chip cookies, the one for 
whom you gather flowers from your garden, the one who will play Monopoly with 
you at any time. Short and round, of Swedish stock, she has pure white, short, curly 
hair, which frames her smiling face like a halo. She has dear sweet eyes- the bluest sort- 
that peer out from large crooked glasses. Her gently-wrinkled face holds many expres- 
sions: smiles for laughing, smiles for a beautiful day, smiles for an early spring glimpse 
at her pink Rose, smiles for our stinky but lovable dog Cally, smiles for chats about my 
fencing tournament- all the smiles, and all the memories, stored up from all those years 
and aged to perfection. 

Russy has to keep moving at all times- "it's the Swede" in her. No TV, no sitting 
around and moping, no daring to say, "I'm bored." As firm believer in Fresh Air, she 
escorts my little brother Sam outside in all but the worst weather. Even when Sam was 
only months old, and the weather was fairly cold, out he went in a carriage, all bun- 
dled in winter snowsuit and blankets, Russy by his side, cooing and talking to him 
until he drifted off. 

Outside, Russy presides from her throne, an old beat-up folding patio chair. She 
enthusiastically encourages Sam in the sand-box to build the castle higher and expand 
it to moats, secret timnels, and elaborate parking lots for all the soldiers, matchbox cars, 
and huge construction trucks she brings for him from her collecting campaigns at the 
thrift shop. While he is thusly occupied, Russy pulls a few weeds ("It's good exercise, 
you know!") and picks a couple daisies for a vase in the house. Hearty laughter comes 
from Russy and then Sam when the tower goes too high and the whole thing collapses. 

A woman of her word, Russy uses her imaginative mind and stubborn pride to 
solve any problem. One of my earliest memories was when I was- how can I say this 
delicately?- unable to keep my bed dry at night. This problem may not have been seri- 
ous for a child of two or even four years, but I was almost seven. Yes, my dreary par- 
ents we had tried everything: coaching, bribes, no H20, constant threats. At one point 
my mother, at her wits' end, ordered help, and a little mechanism with two small metal 
plates that buzzed loudly when moisture was present soon arrived at our front door. 
All it did was get my dad to come in and change my sheets without calling him. 

Maybe my dad would wake up every night and change my bed, but if you think 
Russy would, guess again. She was determined not to let me wet my bed while she 
was in charge. Sure enough; when my parents were away, I stayed dry. Russy told me 


that she had gone into my room when I was asleep, got me up, walked me down the 
hall, and made me go. I had no memory of any of this happening, and 1 didn't really 
believe her, but after that, no more waking up in the middle of the night with wet 

An animal lover, Russy is quite good friends with my cat Dolly and my dog 
Cally. Dolly, an outdoor cat, needs to be fed only occasionally and is no trouble at all. 
However, Cally, a mischievous West-high-land white terrier, has to be fed, then let out 
every once in a while, and then brought back in. Sometimes late at night it can be hard 
to get her to come in without physically carrying her. Once Russy was pet-sitting, and 
late one night Cally wouldn't come in. Russy called and called but to no avail. Then 
Russy's imaginative, problem-solving mind kicked in. She called out the door, "Cally, if 
you come in, Russy'll take you for a ride in her car." And what do you know, but the 
devilish dog actually came in. So did this 89-year-old woman really take this naughty 
dog for a spin in her car at eleven o'clock at night? You guessed it. True to her word, 
Russy put Cally in the car and drove around the neighborhood. 

I hope that Russy will be able to babysit my kids and keep them in line as she 
did my brothers and me. The world needs more real babysitters, not the wimpy ones 
you get for an occasional Saturday night, but the character builders, who radiate hap- 
piness, who don't need to resort to threats. On the contrary, for Russy we are glad to 
do anything to widen that smile. My mother stands in awe when my brother walks out 
the door with the trash bag slung over his shoulder. "How do you do it, Russy?" and 
Russy answers, not without a twinkle in her eye, "I asked him to!" 

The American Academy 
Dr. Traver 




-true JoAi 

I)hs2 looks in thsz mirror 

djznying what shiz sizszs 

a)hs2 rszfusizs to aceszpt 

th(2 graying in hszr hair 

thsz lines around htzr (zygs 

I)hs2 do(2sn't eomprszhiznd 

that n^vizr again 

will she look thiz same 

in those short shorts 

and low cut shirts 

as she did when she was young 

l)he dyes her hair 

to hide the gray 

uses creams, and lotions 

to decrease those awful wrinkles 

and forces herself 

into clothes meant for a generation 

that is no longer hers 

l)he looks in the mirror 

and doesn't see the beauty that others do 

She refuses to accept 

the light touch of gray in her hair 

the lines framing her eyes 

proving a lifetime filled 

With laughter and happiness. 

§he's trying to live 

as a girl she is no longer 

refusing to accept 

the disguised gift 

that age has brought her. 


Council Rock High School North 

Mrs. Hall 

I /ear /ji/ ^''/)r/a((<a/'c ^'%//cy Jo //eye 
/)/a(/c/((o, //(c (}y /('((/ 1 cr /') (( o((((/c/(( 
fjii/j// (■■((/{(<// (■{/({/ //r (</j(/i(('/(o cA^j /'(''')'>(■(( 
iiiii/iui ((/'(' //('(' /i<'co'yJ(Mi^i/</ //('<H ' ('/ ('((' 

H((// (</' ( (i///U/d^:M'U('(< '/I . 

m'//aSfrjJie u-yjo/hj/6///////'j'/j/r/^^^^^^^^ 
(Niknowina/f/ ooonrdn^ wit/un. 



T- ^"4